Quran

Assalaamualaikum

Since I studied Quran in detail, I used to think how could I express my gratitude to Allah, in a practical way, for this precious blessing that he has given me. Although I started my revision and Alhamdulillah enjoyed going through the Quran once again with better understanding and more capacity to absorb its message, but the more I received it, the more I felt that I have to convey to others what I have learned. Therefore I decided to write these Surah Reviews so that people who want to know what is in the Quran and don’t have time to listen to Tafseer lessons can just take a printout and read it whenever they have time. In this way at least they can have a general idea of what Islam is all about and what does Allah want us to do in this short span of time that we are here on earth, so as to be successful, in the real sense of the word.

May Allah make it a beneficial experience for all of us. Ameen

 

Surah Al-Fatihah

If you are one of those fortunate people who feel the need to discover the truth of their existence and the real purpose of life, then you have come to the right place! I welcome you to the world of Quran….the gift of Allah to mankind.

Today we embark upon our journey through Quran with Surah Al-Fatihah, which literally means “the opening”.

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ {1}

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

How lovely it is to have a friend, a guide, a support…..to whom you can entrust your affairs. Thus we begin our journey with Allah, knowing that He will be our constant companion and guide. We just need to have complete faith in Him.

Our faith in Allah is strengthened by acknowledging and appreciating the fact that He is our Creator and Sustainer…….not only of me and you but of the entire universe and all the worlds…. therefore only Allah is worthy of our ultimate appreciation and gratitude:

الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ {2}

 All praise is for Allah, the ‘Rabb’ of the Worlds.

Normally we say these words so casually not realising what it means. Just think of the word “Al-Alamin” and try to visualize the vast universe filled with the creation of Allah. Of course our knowledge is limited and to imagine all of it in one glance is almost impossible. But just think how great that Rabb is…. who not only made all of this out of nothing, but also nurtures each and every creature and knows the details of each and every thing. Obviously He is the most loving, the extremely compassionate and merciful:

الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيمِ {3}

The Compassionate, the Merciful.

Without Allah’s mercy I could not exist on this earth. Allah’s love and compassion fills my life as well as yours. And we have so much to be grateful for. But we have to remember that no matter how privileged we might be; this life will come to an end. All the blessings are only for this limited time. The only thing which is permanent is what deeds we do in this life. And on the day of judgement we will all be standing before Allah waiting for the announcement of our final result:

مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ {4}

Master of the Day of Judgment.

This is it…….the story of our life. It begins with recognizing Allah and being grateful to Him. Then we live our life with a positive attitude because Allah is Al-Rahman and Al- Rahim. And finally there is the Day of Judgement where we are going to meet Allah. So what exactly is the purpose of our life? Allah answers in the following verse:

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ {5}

O’Allah! You alone we worship and You Alone we call on for help.

When I say that I worship only Allah, it means that I will obey Him in all areas of my life. But I cannot do so without Allah’s help….

That is why we are being taught to say: “Allah! Only you we ask for help.”

Remember that although people and places do make a difference…..still they are just a medium….the REAL source of all goodness is Allah.

So we ask Him to help us attain the most desired of all things……..guidance:

اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ {6}

O’Allah! Guide us to The Right Way.

Praying for guidance means that we ask Allah to show us the right way, and to enable us to walk on the right way…….until we reach our destination. What is the right way?

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ {7}

The Way of those whom You have favoured; not of those who have earned Your wrath, or of those who have lost The Way.  [Ameen]

So our role models should be the people with whom Allah was pleased and He bestowed his blessings and favours on them. These are the Prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs, and the righteous.

Likewise it is equally important to stop idealizing the people on whom Allah had sent His guidance but they earned His anger and punishment because they denied the truth and followed their own desires. Similarly we have to be careful not to be among the people who do not even bother to find the right way and just follow their own illusions and ideas about life.

Thus ends the beautiful Surah Al-Fatihah which is an essence of our purpose of life as well as a prayer for the beginning of our journey through Quran. May Allah accept our prayer…….Ameen.

Surah Al-Baqarah

(Part – 1)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

I love the Quran because it is the word of my Lord and because it gave me the peace of certainty which I had wanted for such a long time. People said I was too idealistic and there is no such thing as perfection in this world. But I kept searching for it and finally Allah blessed me with this most “perfect” book, the Magnificent Quran! I am constantly amazed how I survived without it all those years when this same book was lying in my cupboard but I hadn’t known that the answers to all my confusion and restlessness were preserved in it. This is Allah’s gift for me as well as for you and for the whole mankind. So come and experience its peace and convey it to others as well.

Surah Al-Baqarah starts with the most reassuring words:

ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ {2}

This is the Book in which there is no doubt. It is a guide for those who are conscious of Allah.

In this world where we are always so unsure about things, Allah seems to call us to His mercy…..come to me, read my book with faith and trust my judgement……. It will guide you to success if you are Allah-conscious.

Who are the Allah conscious people?

الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ {3}

Who believe in the Unseen, who establish Salah (five regular daily prayers) and spend in charity out of what We have provided for their sustenance

Some people say that they have faith in Allah but they don’t pray Salat or give zakat etc. They say it is every individual’s own choice how he wants to connect to Allah. Then there are a great number of people who do all the rituals but they do it like following a tradition without any real feeling. Allah is telling us here that Guidance and success are for those people who are so firmly convinced in the recompense of the Hereafter that they act upon what they claim to believe:

أُوْلَـئِكَ عَلَى هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ {5}

They are on true Guidance from their Rabb and they are the ones who will be successful.

On the other hand if someone refuses to accept Allah and His Prophet then even his intellect fails to guide him. His eyes will not see the clear signs, his ears will not tolerate the sound of Allah’s words and his heart will be forever plunged into the darkness of prejudice and disbelief……what a great loss:

خَتَمَ اللّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهمْ وَعَلَى سَمْعِهِمْ وَعَلَى أَبْصَارِهِمْ غِشَاوَةٌ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عظِيمٌ {7}

Allah has sealed their hearts and their hearing, their eyes are covered, and there is a grievous punishment for them

Next Allah describes a third category of people……and these are the Hypocrites. They don’t want to accept the truth but they hide their disbelief so that they can be counted as being Muslims while in their hearts they have no faith at all……

يُخَادِعُونَ اللّهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلاَّ أَنفُسَهُم وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ {9}

They try to deceive Allah and the believers. However, they deceive none except themselves yet they do not realize it

The Quran is here with its guiding light but whether people will find their way or remain in the dark, depends on their attitude. It is the state of heart which differentiates between the believers and the disbelievers and the hypocrites…… but what about me? Where do I stand? For most of us the problem is that we believe in Allah and the hereafter but we fail to act accordingly. This is because we assume that we have faith but in reality our knowledge is not complete and thus our belief is not strong. That is why the Quran reminds us of our purpose of existence:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ {21}

O mankind! Worship your Rabb Who created you and created those who came before you; by doing this you may expect to guard yourself against evil.

The favours of Allah are countless but even the basic fact that He created us out of just a drop of fluid is enough for our self realization……how great is our Rabb and yet we deny His commands?

كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَاتاً فَأَحْيَاكُمْ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ {28}

How can you deny Allah? Did He not give you life when you were lifeless; and will He not cause you to die and again bring you to life; and will you not ultimately return to Him?

The creation of human beings was not a result of evolution as many people are misled into believing. Nor was it an accidental happening. The following ayat is testimony to the fact that it was Allah’s special plan to create us for a specific purpose:

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً قَالُواْ أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاء وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ {30}

Note that occasion, when your Rabb said to the angels: I am going to place a vicegerent on earth. They said: “Will You place there one who will make mischief and shed blood while we sing Your praises and glorify Your name?” Allah said: “I know what you know not.”

Thus Allah created Adam (a.s) and taught him the names of objects. This knowledge gave him superiority over all other creation so Allah ordered the angels to prostrate before him:

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ {34}

When We ordered the angels: “Prostrate before Adam in respect,” they all prostrated except Iblees (Shaitan) who refused in his arrogance and became a disbeliever.

Iblees (the devil) was a jinn but used to keep company with the angels due to his worship. But this worship didn’t save him from arrogance and he rejected Allah’s command. Thus he was eternally removed from Allah’s mercy due to his arrogance and disobedience. So this is a great lesson for us that no matter how pious or Allah-conscious we might be, we should always remain humble and never think that we are superior to others. The other thing to learn from this incident is that we all make mistakes but then we should immediately ask Allah’s forgiveness and not insist on proving that we are right. Just like Adam (a.s) did Tauba after he fell into the trap of the devil, and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree….So Allah forgave him and sent them all to the earth, with the following words…..

قُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ {38}

“Get down from here all of you,” We said at the time of Adam’s departure from Paradise. “Henceforth there shall come to you guidance from Me, those who accept and follow it shall have nothing to fear or to regret.

But those who reject Allah’s guidance will face a totally different outcome:

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرواْ وَكَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا أُولَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ {39}

But those who reject and defy Our revelations will be inmates of Hellfire, wherein they shall live forever.”

Next Allah tells us about a nation known as Bani-Israel whom Allah had given all the blessings and opportunities to become the best people but they acted against their covenant with Allah and thus earned His anger and punishment. Their account has been discussed in detail because through them Allah wants us to realize that even though we are supposed to be the best of nation because we are the followers of the last and final Prophet, Muhammad (s.a.w) yet our success depends on how far we stay committed with the religion brought by our Prophet and how much we implement his teachings in our lives.

The people of Bani-Israel were being terribly exploited by the Pharaoh, so Allah sent His Prophet, Musa (a.s) to save them. So Musa (a.s) led them out of the Pharaoh’s captivity and made them cross the ocean with Allah’s miraculous support:

وَإِذْ فَرَقْنَا بِكُمُ الْبَحْرَ فَأَنجَيْنَاكُمْ وَأَغْرَقْنَا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَأَنتُمْ تَنظُرُونَ {50}

And We parted the Red Sea for you, taking you to safety, and drowned Firon’s people before your very eyes.

Then Allah gave Musa the holy book of Torah:

وَإِذْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَالْفُرْقَانَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ {53}

We gave Musa (Moses) the Holy Book (Torah) and the criterion of right and wrong so that you might be rightly guided.

And in that lonely desert Allah made all the arrangements for their sustenance:

وظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْغَمَامَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ {57}

And We even provided you the shade of clouds and sent down to you manna (sweet dish) and salva (quail meat) saying: “Eat of the good things We have provided for you;” And they did not harm Us, but they harmed their own souls. (by violating Allah’s commands)

But they were forever greedy and ungrateful….

وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ يَا مُوسَى لَن نَّصْبِرَ عَلَىَ طَعَامٍ وَاحِدٍ فَادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُخْرِجْ لَنَا مِمَّا تُنبِتُ الأَرْضُ مِن بَقْلِهَا وَقِثَّآئِهَا وَفُومِهَا وَعَدَسِهَا وَبَصَلِهَا قَالَ أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِي هُوَ أَدْنَى بِالَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ …………{61}

Remember when you said: “O Musa (Moses)! We cannot endure one kind of food; call on your Rabb to give us a variety of food which the earth produces, such as green-herbs, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, and onions.” ‘What?’ Musa asked. ‘Would you exchange the better for the worse?……..

The worst thing about being a slave to one’s own selfish desires is that it leads to the hardening of the heart so that it is no longer receptive to any true guidance:

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً وَإِنَّ مِنَ الْحِجَارَةِ لَمَا يَتَفَجَّرُ مِنْهُ الأَنْهَارُ وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَشَّقَّقُ فَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهُ الْمَاء وَإِنَّ مِنْهَا لَمَا يَهْبِطُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللّهِ وَمَا اللّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ {74}

After that your hearts became hard like a rock or even harder, for there are some rocks from which rivers gush out, and there are some which break asunder and water comes out of them, and there are some which fall down with the fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.

Most of the people of Bani-Israel had no knowledge of the revealed book and so they had fabricated their own ideas about salvation:

وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلاَّ أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ يَظُنُّونَ {78}

Among them there are some illiterates who do not know their Holy Book; they follow their own desires and they are only assuming.

This is a fact that when people have no awareness of the true reality then they have a very carefree attitude about the consequences of their sins. Allah is warning us:

بَلَى مَن كَسَبَ سَيِّئَةً وَأَحَاطَتْ بِهِ خَطِيـئَتُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ {81}

Yea! Those who commit evil and become encircled in sin are the inmates of Hellfire; they shall live there for ever

The commands of Allah were simple and straight forward but very few of them cared to obey:

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ لاَ تَعْبُدُونَ إِلاَّ اللّهَ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَقُولُواْ لِلنَّاسِ حُسْناً وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنكُمْ وَأَنتُم مِّعْرِضُونَ {83}

Remember, We took a covenant (firm commitment) from the children of Israel: “You shall worship none but Allah; be good to your parents, relatives, orphans and destitute, speak fair to the people, establish ‘Salah’, and pay ‘Zakah.'” But you broke the covenant, except a few of you, and you paid no heed.

The fact is that if they had believed, they could have earned a great reward:

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُواْ واتَّقَوْا لَمَثُوبَةٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّه خَيْرٌ لَّوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ {103}

If they would have believed (accepted Islam) and kept themselves away from evil, there would have been a better reward from Allah, if they could understand it!

Their aim was to discourage the Muslims so they said:

وَقَالُواْ لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلاَّ مَن كَانَ هُوداً أَوْ نَصَارَى تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ قُلْ هَاتُواْ بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ {111}

They say: “None shall enter paradise except the one who is a Jew or a Christian.” These are their vain desires. Say O Muhammad: “Let us have your proof if you are right in your claim.”

Allah says…….No!

بَلَى مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ فَلَهُ أَجْرُهُ عِندَ رَبِّهِ وَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ {112}

112. Nay,-whoever submits His whole self to Allah and is a doer of good, – He will get His reward with His Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

This is complete surrender when a person believes that he is a slave of Allah and tries to please him in the most excellent manner. The best example is that of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s)….

إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ {131}

When his Lord said to him, “Submit”, he said “I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds.”

Allah’s chosen religion for us is Islam and if we believe in Allah then we have to acquire this way of life which is simple and natural……filling our lives with peace and Allah’s blessings:

صِبْغَةَ اللّهِ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنَ اللّهِ صِبْغَةً وَنَحْنُ لَهُ عَابِدونَ {138}

[And say, “Ours is] the religion of Allah. And who is better than Allah in [ordaining] religion? And we are worshippers of Him.”

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Surah Al-Baqarah

Part-2

Surah Al-baqarah is not only the biggest surah of Quran with regard to its volume, but also because it contains some of the most important concepts of our religion. It was revealed in Madinah when the Muslims were settling into a new pattern of life, implementing Islam in their personal as well as collective lives. Previously in Makkah they recognized Kaaba as their Qiblah, and prayed their Salat facing towards its direction. But in Madinah the Jews worshipped in the direction of Bait-ul-maqdas (in Palestine) and the Muslims were also told to face the same direction. Now after about 16 or 17 months of Hijrah (migration) Allah put them through yet another test, which was the return to their original Qiblah. Although it was their hearts desire to do so, yet to change the direction of prayers was to invite a fresh stream of criticism from the already hostile Jews. Even so, the believers followed Allah’s command and proved themselves to be true Muslims. However Allah is warning them that they will have to face much criticism for which they should be prepared:

سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَاء مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلاَّهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِي كَانُواْ عَلَيْهَا قُل لِّلّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ {142}

The foolish will ask: “Why did they turn away from the Qiblah (the direction in prayer) towards which they used to face?” O Muhammad, say: “East and West belong to Allah; He guides whomever He wishes to the Right Way.”

Although the house of Allah deserves our greatest respect yet we should always remember that the direction of prayer is for unity, discipline and concentration…..while our main objective is to gain Allah’s pleasure in whatever we do:

وَلِكُلٍّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا فَاسْتَبِقُواْ الْخَيْرَاتِ أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُواْ يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللّهُ جَمِيعًا إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ {148}

Everyone has a direction towards which one turns; therefore, emulate one another in good deeds. Wherever you are, Allah will bring all of you together; Allah has power over all things.

The revival of Qiblah was a major event in the life of Muslims through which their status as the best nation, which was to spread the message of Allah to the world, was established. Previously this title had been given to the Bani-Israel, but they failed to fulfil this role. Now Allah sent His last and final Prophet (s.a.w) among the Arabs who were the descendents of Hazrat Ismael:

كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولاً مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ {151}

Just as We bestowed Our favour upon you when We sent among you a Rasool of your own who recites to you Our revelations, sanctifies you, teaches you the Book and wisdom, and teaches you that which you did not know.

This appointment as the representatives of Allah’s message to the whole world is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a nation, but to fulfil this responsibility is not an easy task. There will be several hurdles to cross. And Allah will test our endurance and our faithfulness through various trials:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ {155}

We shall surely test your steadfastness with fear and famine, with loss of property, life and produce. Give good news to those who endure with patience

Due to lack of knowledge, people take a negative view of life and get angry when things don’t come out according to their wishes. They begin to think that Allah is being unfair to them and thus they move away from His mercy:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ أَندَاداً يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّهِ …..{165}

There are some who worship other deities besides Allah (mushrikïn); they love them as they should love Allah, whereas the believers are strongest in love for Allah……….

We all need to love a perfect being and this perfection is only in Allah. So our most intense love and devotion can only be for Allah. We should understand that love without obedience will just be a fantasy, whereas obedience without love is just a ritual. So now I understand why Allah made the acts of worship obligatory on us…..to make us strong and pure:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ {183}

O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may learn self-restraint

There is also another act which we don’t think as very significant but in reality it is the core of worship…..it is to make duas……in fact Allah is angry with the person who does not ask him for anything. Just feel how much Allah wants us to connect to him with love and trust:

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ {186}

When my servants question you about Me, tell them that I am very close to them. I answer the prayer of every suppliant when he calls Me; therefore, they should respond to Me and put their trust in Me, so that they may be rightly guided.

Next we have a detailed account of hajj…..a journey of love and devotion……an event which reminds us of the gathering of the day of judgement:

وَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْدُودَاتٍ فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلاَ إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ لِمَنِ اتَّقَى وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ {203}

Celebrate the praises of Allah during these appointed days. If anyone hastens to leave Mina after two days or stays there a day longer there is no blame on him provided he spends these days in piety. Fear Allah and remember that you will surely be gathered before Him.

It is this passion of wanting Allah’s love, which makes a person totally oblivious of the pains of worship, and he surrenders his whole self to win the pleasure of Allah. See how lovingly Allah speaks of such devoted people:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِي نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَاء مَرْضَاتِ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ رَؤُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ {207}

And among people there is one who would give away his life to seek the pleasure of Allah. Allah is affectionate to His devotees.

Love for Allah does not mean a momentary burst of sentimental behaviour; rather our whole way of life should be in accordance with the limits set by Allah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ ادْخُلُواْ فِي السِّلْمِ كَآفَّةً وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ {208}

O believers enter into Islam completely and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan, surely he is your clear-cut enemy.

This surah deals with all practical aspects of our life so that we should know how to go through various situations in an Islamic way. The topic of divorce is discussed thoroughly and the gist of it is that marriage is the foundation of our society. If it becomes unavoidable to break it then it has to be done with great care and unselfishness:

الطَّلاَقُ مَرَّتَانِ فَإِمْسَاكٌ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ تَسْرِيحٌ بِإِحْسَانٍ …….. {229}

The pronouncement of revocable divorce is only allowed twice: then she should be allowed to stay with honour or let go with kindness

Now if Allah is placing so much stress on doing “Ehsaan” with a divorced wife, then how much do you think will we be answerable for our attitude and behaviour towards the wife in marriage? Think about it……she is not a slave to your complexes, so be kind and generous to her. But this point is only understood by those who have “intellect”:

كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ {242}

That’s how Allah makes His Revelations clear to you so that you may understand

Why do you think there is so much suffering of injustice in our social lives? Why do people exploit the weak ones and ironically are exploited by those who have some power over them? This is because our goodness is not for the sake of Allah. If we knew his power then nobody would dare to mistreat his creatures. So here we come to a magnificent Ayat which is the greatest ayat in the Quran due to the depth of its meaning……it is known as the Ayat-ul-kursi and it gives us a powerful introduction of Allah:

اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَاء وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَلاَ يَؤُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ {255}

Allah! There is no god but Him: the Living, the Eternal. He neither slumbers nor sleeps. To Him belongs all that is in the Heavens and the Earth. Who can intercede with Him without His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them. They cannot gain access to any thing out of His knowledge except what He pleases. His throne is more vast than the heavens and the earth, and guarding of these both does not fatigue Him. He is the Exalted, the Supreme.[255]

It is so amazing that in one ayat Allah is telling us that he owns the entire universe and then in this following ayat he is giving us the “honour” of spending our money for his sake…..not only honour but a tremendous reward as well……so how much more motivation do we need to achieve success?

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنبُلَةٍ مِّئَةُ حَبَّةٍ وَاللّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ {261}

The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts into seven ears, each bearing one hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wishes. Allah has boundless knowledge

But still we see that so many of us are hoarding everything for our own selfish lives…….why?

الشَّيْطَانُ يَعِدُكُمُ الْفَقْرَ وَيَأْمُرُكُم بِالْفَحْشَاء وَاللّهُ يَعِدُكُم مَّغْفِرَةً مِّنْهُ وَفَضْلاً وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ {268}

Shaitan threatens you with poverty and prompts you to commit what is indecent, while Allah promises you His forgiveness and bounties, and Allah has boundless knowledge.

We need wisdom to make the right decisions and it is a special gift from Allah…..more valuable than even money!

يُؤتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاء وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيراً وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الأَلْبَابِ {269}

He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and whoever is granted wisdom is indeed given a great wealth, yet none except people of understanding learn a lesson from it.

Money is always being spent in one way or the other. Now when people don’t spend in the way of Allah and follow shaitan then he leads them to the evil of “riba” or interst. The economy all over the world is so much trapped in this evil, that now you will hear people making justifications for it and calling it business. To clear our doubts Allah has sent us this comprehensive Ayat:

الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لاَ يَقُومُونَ إِلاَّ كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ………… {275}

Those who live on usury will not rise up before Allah except like those who are driven to madness by the touch of Shaitan…

Shaitan has used people to spread this false idea that Islam cannot be implemented in this day and age. But such nonsense fails to affect those who love Allah with a strong faith in his decisions:

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ {285}

The Rasool has believed in the Guidance which has been revealed to him from his Rabb and so do the Believers. They all believe in Allah, His angels, His books and His Rasools. They say: “We do not discriminate against anyone of His Rasools.” And they say: “We hear and we obey. Grant us your forgiveness, O Rabb; to you we shall all return.”

How can we even think that Allah will place a burden on us which we cannot carry?

لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ {286}

Allah does not burden any human being with more than he can bear. Everyone will enjoy the credit of his deeds and suffer the debits of his evil-doings. The believers say: “Our Rabb! Do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Rabb! Do not place on us a burden as you placed on those before us. Our Rabb! Lay not on us the kind of burden that we have no strength to bear. Pardon us, forgive us, Have mercy on us. You are our Protector, help us against the unbelievers.”

Thus ends the magnificent Surah Al-baqarah with this comforting prayer of forgiveness and mercy. May Allah forgive us for our weakness and enable us to develop our strengths so that we may rise out of this miserable condition and really prove to be the best nation implementing and spreading the message of Allah to the world.

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Surah Aal-e-Imran

(Part-1)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

For me, the Quran is like a window which opens up into the world of reality and makes me understand the power of Allah in my life. It is a fact that we have become so much obsessed with the fulfilment of our worldly commitments and desires that we have lost connection with Allah. We do believe in Him and we worship Him too, but our trust in His power and authority is not too strong. The result is that most people suffer from depression and anxiety. They look for cure in anti depressants and tranquilizers but the fact is that the tranquillity of the heart is in the recognition and appreciation of Allah.

Surah Aal-e-Imran opens with the same message:

اللّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ {2}

Allah! There is no god but Him; the Living, the Eternal

Although Allah blessed man with great worldly knowledge and intelligence but this is not enough for us to recognize Allah or the unseen world of the hereafter. That is why Allah sent down His books to His Prophets so that they could lead the people to the true guidance:

نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَأَنزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ وَالإِنجِيلَ{3} مِن قَبْلُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَنزَلَ الْفُرْقَانَ… {4}

He has revealed to you this Book with the Truth, confirming the scripture which preceded it, as He revealed the Taurãt (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel). Before this, as a guidance for mankind and also revealed this Al-Furqãn (criterion for judgment between right and wrong)

In the Quran we find that Allah has given us clear guidance on how to live our life in a peaceful, organized way. These instructions are very clear and understandable but on the other hand there are verses about the hereafter, in which there are imaginative descriptions and thus there might be some ambiguity and difference of opinion in their interpretation. These are like glimpses into an unseen world, so that we might have some idea of what the day of judgement will be like and what we should expect of the Heavens and Hell. In any case we should not forget our real objective, which is to obey Allah’s commands keeping in view the consequences of the Hereafter.

هُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ في قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاء الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاء تَأْوِيلِهِ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلاَّ أُوْلُواْ الألْبَابِ {7}

He is the One who has revealed to you the Book. Some of its verses are decisive – they are the foundation of the Book – while others are allegorical. Those whose hearts are infected with disbelief follow the allegorical part to mislead others and to give it their own interpretation, seeking for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. Those who are well grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in it; it is all from our Rabb.” None will take heed except the people of understanding

Our hearts are constantly being influenced by all sorts of things happening around us so that even if find the right way, there are many illusions and traps to make us lose our focus. Therefore Allah has taught us a very important prayer:

رَبَّنَا لاَ تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ {8}

“Our Rabb, do not let our hearts deviate from the truth after you have guided us, and grant us your own mercy; you are the Grantor of bounties without measure

Although we should all be planning and working for attaining the best status in the hereafter, but for many people this world and its glamour becomes a test. They are in love with the idea of having all the things which will boost their ego and status. Mostly men (as well as their ambitious mothers) are looking for “beautiful” wives from rich families; because they marry for status not for love or companionship. The moment they achieve that goal, then they want sons. Why not daughters?….because, to them a child is not someone to love and enjoy but only something which should add to their pride… After they get their sons they don’t have time or concern for their upbringing; rather their goal is to accumulate as much wealth and power as possible. Their vehicles get more and more expensive because instead of their purpose of transport, it is the glamour and power that they want to project through them. Same goes for grand houses and agricultural land and cattle.

Allah in His infinite knowledge tells us that it is not love of things…. but love of desires…..that is why they are never satisfied no matter how much they have:

زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَاتِ مِنَ النِّسَاء وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَاطِيرِ الْمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَالْخَيْلِ الْمُسَوَّمَةِ وَالأَنْعَامِ وَالْحَرْثِ ……. {14}

The life of men is tempted by love and desire for women, children, the hoarding of treasures of gold and silver, branded horses, wealth of cattle and plantations.

And see the end of the same Ayat in which Allah puts everything in its right place!

ذَلِكَ مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاللّهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الْمَآبِ {14}

These are the comforts for the transitory life of this world; the everlasting best comfort, however, is with Allah.

This is the beauty of our religion. We are not taught to condemn the blessings of Allah; rather we should use all that Allah has given us with an attitude of Allah consciousness. This material world becomes “bad” only when we forget Allah and the Hereafter.

On the other hand we see that mostly people feel deprived if they are not enjoying these luxuries. They should remember that the best things in life are not things!

Therefore Allah promises them something that’s even better:

قُلْ أَؤُنَبِّئُكُم بِخَيْرٍ مِّن ذَلِكُمْ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَأَزْوَاجٌ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ {15}

Say: “Shall I tell you of better things than these, with which the righteous will be rewarded by their Rabb? There will be gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they will live forever with spouses of perfect chastity and the good pleasure of Allah. Allah is watching His servants very closely.”

You don’t need to have a certain faith or character to acquire wealth and other things, because it is a test from Allah (not a reward for success as most people believe!) The real reward is Paradise and to achieve that you definitely need a certain qualification:

الصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْمُنفِقِينَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالأَسْحَارِ {17}

Who are steadfast, sincere, obedient, and charitable, and who pray for forgiveness in the morning time.

It would be a good idea to make a list of these qualities and put them on your bedside table so that when you go to bed at night you can have a handy reminder for self assessment of how you spent your day. However, you must have noticed that instead of using that quiet time for self evaluation and asking Allah’s forgiveness, we spend sleepless hours worrying about the past or the future? Most of our worries arise from self centeredness….we are all the time consumed with this feeling that people are being so unfair to us and they are depriving us of our rights. This resentment can only be cured by having faith in Allah that nobody can give or withhold anything unless Allah has decreed it for us. The following Ayat is a great lesson for straightening out our misconceptions:

قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاء وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاء وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاء وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاء بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ {26}

Say: “O Allah! Master of all the Kingship, You give the kingdom to whom You please and take away the kingdom from whomsoever You please; You give honour to whom You please and disgrace whom You please; all the good is in Your hand; surely You have power over everything

Worrying can be good if you channelize it for the hereafter! So think of what you have done for that life…. and how much still needs to be done? Listen to this warning coming straight from Allah:

يَوْمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُّحْضَرًا وَمَا عَمِلَتْ مِن سُوَءٍ تَوَدُّ لَوْ أَنَّ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَهُ أَمَدًا بَعِيدًا وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللّهُ نَفْسَهُ وَاللّهُ رَؤُوفُ بِالْعِبَادِ {30}

On the Day of Judgment, when every soul will be confronted with whatever good it has done – as for its evil deeds, it will wish they were a long way off. Allah cautions you to beware of Him. Allah is full of kindness towards His devotees.

Some people say they love Allah but their belief in His Prophet (s.a.w) is not so strong. They think they can have a direct link with Allah. So read the following Ayat and see how important it is to follow Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w) if we really love Allah and want to be loved by Him too:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ {31}

Tell the people O Muhammad: “If you sincerely love Allah, then follow me; Allah will also love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

One such person whom Allah loved for her purity and worship was Maryam (a.s). Her mother had made special dua for her even before her birth that she will dedicate her child for the sake of Allah. So Allah gave her special acceptance:

وَإِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ اصْطَفَاكِ وَطَهَّرَكِ وَاصْطَفَاكِ عَلَى نِسَاء الْعَالَمِينَ {42}

There came the time when angels said: “O Maryam! Surely Allah has exalted you, purified you, and preferred you for His service over all the women of the worlds.

And then Allah sends His angels to give her glad tidings of a son, Prophet Jesus Christ (a.s.):

إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلآئِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ {45}

When the angels said “O Maryam! Allah gives you the good news with a Word from Him that you will be given a son: his name will be Messiah, Isa (Jesus Christ) the son of Maryam. He will be noble in this world and the Hereafter; and he will be from those who are very close to Allah.

Naturally she must have been so surprised….so she exclaimed:

قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ قَالَ كَذَلِكِ اللّهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاء إِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ {47}

Hearing this, Maryam said, “O my Rabb! How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me?” He replied, “Even so, Allah creates however He wants; whenever He decides to do anything, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is!

How beautiful is the assurance from Allah…..He can do absolutely everything. Thus Allah sent Jesus Christ as the last prophet to the Bani Israel who gave them the message of Tauheed and called the people towards the worship of Allah:

إِنَّ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَـذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ {51}

In fact, Allah is my Rabb as well as your Rabb, therefore, worship Him; this is the Right Way.

Some of the people believed him and followed him but their later generations forgot the teachings of Jesus and started calling him the son of god because he had no father. Allah explains that if He could create Adam (a.s) without any parents then what can stop Him from creating another being without a father:

إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِندَ اللّهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثِمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ {59}

In fact, the example of the birth of Isa (Jesus) in the sight of Allah is like the example of Adam who had no father and mother, whom He created out of dust, then said to him: “Be” and he was.

All Prophets of Allah had extraordinary capabilities and they performed miracles too. But still they were born as human beings and surrendered to one Allah as their Lord. This was their faith and this is what they preached:

مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُؤْتِيَهُ اللّهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُواْ عِبَادًا لِّي مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَلَـكِن كُونُواْ رَبَّانِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ {79}

It is not possible for a man whom Allah has given the Book, the Wisdom and the Prophethood, that he would say to the people: “Worship me instead of Allah.” On the contrary he would say: “Be devoted worshippers of your Rabb in accordance with the Holy Book you have been teaching and reading”

Allah gave us the gift of Islam. How can we say we believe in Allah and not trust in His choice of religion?

أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ {83}

Are they looking for a religion other than the Deen (religion and Way of Life) of Allah knowing well that everything in the heavens and in the earth, willingly or unwillingly, has submitted to Him? And to Him they shall all return

In this life we can get away with whatever we choose to do. There are so many religions and so many variations and sects. Mostly people are living according to whatever they think is right but on that final day of recompense, Allah will accept only what He ordered us to do:

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ {85}

If anyone is looking for a religion other than Islam, then let it be known that it will not be accepted from him; and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.

But as long as we are alive we still have a chance to come back on the right track………Allah is letting people live even if they don’t act on His religion because He is most compassionate and wants them to turn back to the true guidance:

إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُواْ فَإِنَّ الله غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ {89}

However, those who repent after this and mend their ways, verily Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

There is great assurance and hope in these words. We can repent to Allah whenever we want and He will erase all our sins but don’t be fooled by the illusion of life, as it will end without any warning, any day, any time……..so don’t delay Tauba (repentance) for some day in the future which might not even come. The only time you have is now! So submit to Allah with sincerity and you will see how extremely forgiving and absolutely Merciful He is for those who seek His pleasure above all things.

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 Surah Aal-e-Imran

(Part-2)

As I went through the second part of Aal-e-Imran, I was reminded of my state of complete ignorance when I had first experienced Quran more than four years ago. I had been so dazed with all the new things I was learning, that to comprehend the historical events of the Quran seemed impossible to my rusty mind. I had no knowledge of seerah (life history of the Holy Prophet s.a.w.). So I really didn’t grasp the backdrop of battle of Uhud. Today when I was reading the verses I could picture the entire scene as if I had myself seen and felt the bruises on my own soul. How simply courageous were the staunch supporters of Islam…the newly uprooted “muhajireen” and the generous open hearted “ansaar”. How absolutely unlucky were the “munafiqeen” to have earned the lowest ranks of jahannam at the same time when people were earning the highest reward of being a “mujahid” with Allah’s Rasool and “shaheed”………all for the sake of Allah’s deen.

I was amazed How Allah Ta’ala has pinpointed all the weaknesses of their characters too; although we have been taught to hold them in the highest esteem for being the blessed companions of the Prophet (s.a.w). It is so important to recognize the fact that they were going through the early period of “tarbiyyat”. And later on the same people were an asset for spreading Islam in the world.

Similarly if today we see some weaknesses in the Muslims around us and in ourselves; it is not a cause for despair. If we remain true to Allah and dedicate ourselves in self improvement plans then surely with Allah’s help there is great hope of revival. The few important things, that I feel are needed for this, are …..

1) Never thinking ourselves to be perfect or flawless

2) Willingness to listen and to accept criticism as much as we crave for compliments

3) Having a self motivation for “tazkiyah” (self purification)

4) Having teachers and environment where tazkiyah is given as much importance as is given to academic competence.

As for the other topics, the words that filled me with a deep longing were about Kaaba:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ {96}

فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّـنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ الله غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ {97}

Undoubtedly the first House for the worship of Allah ever built for mankind is the one at Bakka (Makkah), a blessed site and a guidance for all the worlds. [96] In it are clear signs and the Station of Ibrãhïm (Abraham) where he used to worship. Whoever enters it is safe. Performance of Hajj (pilgrimage) to this House is a duty to Allah for all who can afford the journey to it; and the one who disobeys this commandment should know that Allah is Self-sufficient, beyond the need of any from the worlds.

And the hope in the following words:

وَمَن يَعْتَصِم بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ هُدِيَ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ {101}

Whoever holds fast to Allah, will indeed be guided towards the Right Way.

But the most important thing is how Allah has told us again and again in clear words that the fate of the ummah can never be saved until they perform their first and foremost duty in the following ayaat.

وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ {104}

Let there arise from among you a band of people who should invite to righteousness, enjoin good and forbid evil; such are the ones who shall be successful.

But to accomplish this, we need to build in ourselves the qualities of “Taqwa and sabar”

وَإِن تَصْبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ لاَ يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌ {120}

If you are patient and guard yourself against evil, their schemes will not harm you in any way. Surely Allah encompasses all their actions.

Allah created man and he knows our psychology so well. He knows that “Imaan” cannot be firm without “itminaan”. (Peace of heart) That is why the help of five thousand angels has been promised.

And the words used here simply filled my heart with love for Allah:

بَلَى إِن تَصْبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ وَيَأْتُوكُم مِّن فَوْرِهِمْ هَـذَا يُمْدِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُم بِخَمْسَةِ آلافٍ مِّنَ الْمَلآئِكَةِ مُسَوِّمِينَ {125}

وَمَا جَعَلَهُ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بُشْرَى لَكُمْ وَلِتَطْمَئِنَّ قُلُوبُكُم بِهِ وَمَا النَّصْرُ إِلاَّ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ {126}

Of course! If you remain patient and on your guard, Allah will send to your aid not three thousand but, five thousand specially marked angels in case of a sudden attack from the enemy.[125] Allah has told you this as good news and that your hearts may be at ease thereby; victory comes only from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.

You will observe that most people are just running after worldly wealth and status………..Allah has given us a beautiful alternative:

وَسَارِعُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ {133}

Rush towards the forgiveness from your Rabb to a paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth which is prepared for the righteous people;

Imagine someone who is always willing to give generously to others whether he has enough for his own needs or not. Who always keeps a control over his anger and is ever ready to forgive others. But out of human weakness if he commits a sin, he is quick to remember Allah and asks for His forgiveness. Surely this must be an excellent person because he has all the defining characteristics of the “Muttaqin” (The Allah conscious). We are so fond of being projected as righteous people but we are hardly concerned with what Allah means by a “Muttaqi” person. See the mirror of the Quran and find where you stand:

الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاء وَالضَّرَّاء وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ {134}

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ {135}

they are those who spend generously in the Way of Allah, whether they are in prosperity or in adversity, who control their anger and forgive other people for Allah loves such charitable people, [134] who, if they commit an indecency or wrong their own souls, earnestly remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins; for no one can forgive sins except Allah, and those who do not knowingly persist in something wrong which they have done.

It requires consistent effort and self control to attain these qualities; and so one tends to lose heart. Allah gives assurance in the following words:

وَلاَ تَهِنُوا وَلاَ تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنتُمُ الأَعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ {139}

Do not grieve and get disheartened: for you will have the upper hand if you are the believers.

When I read the following ayat, I was reminded of myself at the age of 7 or 8 when I had read a chapter in my Islamiat book about the death of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and had really wept with sorrow. Today these words made me feel deeply, of how Hazrat Umar (r.a.) was so passionate even in his sorrow and how the kind Hazrat Abu Bakar (r.a) comforted him with this ayat. Islam has a place for every emotion and a balm for every pain. SubhaanAllah !!

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ {144}

Muhammad is no more than a Rasool of Allah, like the Rasools that passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you turn back on your heels (become unbelievers)? He that turns back on his heels will do no harm to Allah; but Allah will reward the thankful.

Two ramazans ago I heard a voice reciting the following ayat before the beginning of a Hadith program on TV. I was mesmerized by this most unusual recitation. Daily I would turn on the TV well ahead of time at Asar so as not to miss this ayat in the beginning. I just could not have enough of it. I tried to play various qiraats on the net to find out whose voice it was but could not locate it. Finally one day as I was browsing through the alhuda website I decided to go to the qiraat section and tried this unfamiliar name…. Mishaary bin Raashid. Immediately I recognized his voice……downloaded the entire Quran in one sitting and to this day he remains my favourite teacher of tajweed. Today as I came upon this ayat I was so happy as if I had met a most beloved friend!!

لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلالٍ مُّبِينٍ {164}

Allah has done a great favor to the believers that He raised among them a Rasool from among themselves, reciting to them the Revelations of Allah, sanctifying them and teaching them the Book and Wisdom, although before this they were in manifest error.

The fact is that in this life and its day to day incidents there is a lot to learn if we keep our hearts and eyes open:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لِّأُوْلِي الألْبَابِ {190}

For sure, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for men of understanding

But to attain real wisdom, one other quality which must be combined with intelligent observation, is remembrance of Allah at all times:

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىَ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ {191}

Those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and meditate on the creation of the heavens and the earth, then cry out:“ Our Rabb! You have not created this in vain. Glory to You! Save us from the punishment of Fire.

These people are living in this world but their hearts are always involved with the thoughts of the hereafter because they know that its consequences will be final and everlasting:

رَبَّنَا وَآتِنَا مَا وَعَدتَّنَا عَلَى رُسُلِكَ وَلاَ تُخْزِنَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّكَ لاَ تُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ {194}

Our Rabb! Grant us what You have promised through Your Rasools and save us from the shame on the Day of Resurrection; for You never break Your promise.”

Look at the beautiful response from Allah which shows how much Allah loves the people who devote their lives for His sake, whether women or men:

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ أَنِّي لاَ أُضِيعُ عَمَلَ عَامِلٍ مِّنكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى بَعْضُكُم مِّن بَعْضٍ فَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ وَأُخْرِجُواْ مِن دِيَارِهِمْ وَأُوذُواْ فِي سَبِيلِي وَقَاتَلُواْ وَقُتِلُواْ لأُكَفِّرَنَّ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَلأُدْخِلَنَّهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ ثَوَابًا مِّن عِندِ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ عِندَهُ حُسْنُ الثَّوَابِ {195}

So their Rabb answers their prayers, saying: “ I will not let the good deed of any worker among you, whether a male or a female, be wasted. You are the offspring of one another. Those who had to leave their homes or were expelled therefrom, and those who suffered persecution for My sake and fought and were killed: I will forgive them their sins and admit them into gardens beneath which the rivers flow; a prize from Allah, and Allah holds the finest prize!”

This brilliant Surah ends with this final word of caution that in whatever we do for the sake of Allah we must not forget to be patient at all times and to fear Allah above everything else:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اصْبِرُواْ وَصَابِرُواْ وَرَابِطُواْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ {200}

O believers! Be patient, excel in patience during confrontation, hold yourselves ready for battle and have fear of Allah so that you may succeed.

May Allah guide us all towards a true understanding of the Book and make it the joy of our hearts and a light to show the way. Ameen

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Surah An-Nisa

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

After studying the Quran I feel it is my responsibility to share this blessing with everyone. But often when I talk to women about Quran, their instant reaction is to inquire about women’s rights. It is like they have some deep mistrust that Islam is against women. Well I am glad to tell them that although there is no surah in the Quran titled “men”, the women have been honoured with this Surah which means “the women”. The women have been given the best status in Islam and men have been appointed to care for them and to provide for all their needs. The first order for a man when he marries a woman is to give her some gift:

وَآتُواْ النَّسَاء صَدُقَاتِهِنَّ نِحْلَةً ………. {4}

At the time of marriage, give the women their dowries willingly as an obligation

Before Islam women were treated like animals and had no rights at all. But Islam honoured them by giving them their due share in the inheritance:

لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصيِبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ وَلِلنِّسَاء نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا تَرَكَ الْوَالِدَانِ وَالأَقْرَبُونَ مِمَّا قَلَّ مِنْهُ أَوْ كَثُرَ نَصِيبًا مَّفْرُوضًا {7}

Men will have a share in what their parents and their near relatives leave; and women will have a share in what their parents and their near relatives leave: whether it be a little or much, they shall be legally entitled to their shares

And then there is the following ayat in which Allah is reminding men of their duty to take care of their wives even if they don’t like them. In it there is a great lesson that often we dislike things but Allah puts unbelievable benefit in them if we do sabar for His sake:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ فَإِن كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَيَجْعَلَ اللّهُ فِيهِ خَيْرًا كَثِيراً {19}

Treat them with kindness even if you dislike them; it is quite possible that you dislike something in which Allah has placed much good.

One ayat that follows shortly after this topic is the one that touches the innermost problem of a majority of people…envying others of whatever they possess…….

وَلاَ تَتَمَنَّوْاْ مَا فَضَّلَ اللّهُ بِهِ بَعْضَكُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ لِّلرِّجَالِ نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبُواْ وَلِلنِّسَاء نَصِيبٌ مِّمَّا اكْتَسَبْنَ وَاسْأَلُواْ اللّهَ مِن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا {32}

Do not envy that Allah has given some of you more than the others. Men will be rewarded according to their deeds and women will be rewarded according to theirs. Ask Allah for His grace. Surely Allah has perfect knowledge of everything.

So this is the secret of happiness and peace of mind…….Don’t wish for what others have but ask Allah of His bounties…He might have an even better thing for you…..trust Allah and don’t get carried away by your desires!

 

And next what an eye-opener for all those who think they are perfect and free of all evil, especially who adorn a superficial cloak of piety

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يُزَكُّونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ بَلِ اللّهُ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاء وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً {49}

Have you not seen those who speak very highly of their own purity? In fact, Allah purifies whom He wishes. And no injustice – even equal to the thread of a date-stone – is being done to them.

 

Earlier in surah Fatihah, we asked Allah to guide us to the path of those with whom Allah was pleased. The following ayat made me so happy that if we obey Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w) then Allah will give us the company of these blessed people:

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاء وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقًا {69}

Whosoever obeys Allah and the Rasool will be in the company of those whom Allah has blessed – the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous: What excellent companions they will be

 

Today as more and more people are falling in love with their self created worlds of luxuries, the fear of death has increased. How clearly the Quran makes us see the absurdity of our over-protective measures

أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُواْ يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْ كُنتُمْ فِي بُرُوجٍ مُّشَيَّدَةٍ …. {78}

As for death, no matter where you may be, death is going to reach you even if you are in fortified towers.

 

It is mostly this fear, of loss of wealth and loss of life, which prevents people from having the courage to do Jihad for Allah’s sake. In the following Ayat Allah promises great rewards for all who strive for His sake even if they failed to reach their objectives and met death before they reached their destination.

وَمَن يُهَاجِرْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ يَجِدْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُرَاغَمًا كَثِيراً وَسَعَةً وَمَن يَخْرُجْ مِن بَيْتِهِ مُهَاجِرًا إِلَى اللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ يُدْرِكْهُ الْمَوْتُ فَقَدْ وَقَعَ أَجْرُهُ عَلى اللّهِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا {100}

He who emigrates in the path of Allah shall find numerous places of refuge in the Earth and abundant resources. He who leaves his home to migrate for Allah and His Rasool and dies on the way, his reward becomes due and sure with Allah. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

The concept that all evil thought is from shaitan is something that was totally new for me and I wonder how we spend our lives without knowing this basic fact. We keep on moving away from Allah’s religion and we think “it is my interpretation of life” or “this is what I believe” never giving it any doubt because the more we are ignorant about Allah and Prophet and Quran the more ignorant we are about the shaitan.

يَعِدُهُمْ وَيُمَنِّيهِمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِلاَّ غُرُورًا {120}

Shaitan makes promises to stir up in them false desires; but Shaitan makes them promises only to deceive them.

What a blessing it is to trust Allah who knows it all and then tells you who is your enemy and how he works against you and how to prevent it. How beautiful is the concept of surrender!! So easy for some and so unthinkable for the unfortunate ones:

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِّمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لله وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ واتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَاتَّخَذَ اللّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلاً {125}

Who has a better Deen (way of life or religion) than the one who is a Muslim (submits himself entirely) to Allah, does good to others and follows the faith of Ibrahim (Abraham) the upright one, whom Allah chose to be His friend?

This is what we should all desire….the friendship and love of Allah. Can anything be more desirable than this honour? We remember Ibrahim (a.s) as the friend of Allah but how many times did we try to follow his example in our own life? We have lost sight of these real ideals and have replaced them with other role models. Thus there is a constant frustration and anxiety.

 

The following ayat highlights the misery of our times……….complaints, complaints, complaints. Having all the facilities, sitting in air-conditioned cars, wearing the most expensive clothes, eating luxurious food in grand dining halls of our royal houses, what do our conversations revolve around ? COMPLAINTS – complaints against people, against the weather, against inflation, against schools, jobs, traffic ………..everything. And we don’t even feel ashamed of gheebat or backbiting. It’s a standard way of talking – stripping people of their reputation and their dignity by voicing all the grudges that we have in our hearts.

Allah says except for one who has been wronged it is simply not acceptable to give voice to such things:

لاَّ يُحِبُّ اللّهُ الْجَهْرَ بِالسُّوَءِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ إِلاَّ مَن ظُلِمَ وَكَانَ اللّهُ سَمِيعًا عَلِيمًا {148}

Allah does not like evil words to be uttered except by someone who is truly wronged. Allah hears all and knows all

Instead we should think about doing good to erase the bad and learn to forgive. After all, this is what we would like for ourselves. As a saying goes “don’t find fault, find a remedy”.

Allah says:

إِن تُبْدُواْ خَيْرًا أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ أَوْ تَعْفُواْ عَن سُوَءٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا قَدِيرًا {149}

If you do good deeds openly or in private or forgive an evil, then surely Allah is Pardoning, Powerful.

 

Next we move on to a most important part of our faith, which is the belief in the Prophets. Because you will hear most so called educated people saying that only to believe in Allah is enough. But the Quran puts a stop to all these controversies by stating in the most powerful tone:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِاللّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُواْ بَيْنَ اللّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاً {150}

أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ حَقًّا وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا {151}

Those who deny Allah and his Rasool and those who intend to draw a line between Allah and His Rasools saying: “We believe in some, and reject the rest” – desiring to take a middle way between belief and unbelief – these are the real unbelievers and We have prepared for such unbelievers a humiliating punishment.

The Quran often addresses the whole mankind and shows Allah’s love and mercy for all. When non-muslims read these words “O people” or “O mankind” it makes them feel that Allah’s book is for them too and not just for born muslims. In the following ayat Allah is telling the people of the world that just as the Quran has been revealed for all, similarly the Prophet (s.a.w.) was also sent for the entire mankind and thus they should all believe in him. And this belief will only be for their own good. It doesn’t alter Allah’s Supremacy at all because we all belong to him anyway just as the whole universe belongs to Allah.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءكُمُ الرَّسُولُ بِالْحَقِّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَآمِنُواْ خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ وَإِن تَكْفُرُواْ فَإِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا {170}

O mankind! The Rasool has brought you the Truth from your Rabb, so believe in it, it is for your own benefit. If you disbelieve, then you should know that to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth. Allah is the Knowledgeable, Wise

Disbelief in Allah is like a disease which eats away at the soul of a person because you are depriving yourself from your most important need. Without the deep bond of trust and obedience to Allah, you will always be in a state of anxiety. In this world people might build up a lot of material success to hide themselves from the truth but Allah’s mercy and blessings will only be for the believers:

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَاعْتَصَمُواْ بِهِ فَسَيُدْخِلُهُمْ فِي رَحْمَةٍ مِّنْهُ وَفَضْلٍ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَيْهِ صِرَاطًا مُّسْتَقِيمًا {175}

Now those who believe in Allah and hold fast to Him, Allah will soon cover them with His mercy and grace and will show them the Right Way to Himself.

May Allah make us one of those fortunate people who are blessed by Allah and are guided to the straight path which leads to the ultimate and complete success of both worlds. Ameen.

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Surah Al-Maaidah

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

When we say that we believe in Allah, it is a sort of pact between Allah and us in which we agree to obey Him in all areas of life. But what a pity it is that we don’t relate faith with commitment. Mostly people are under this misconception that faith is only in the heart and it has nothing to do with practical life. Whereas you can see in the first Ayat of Al-Maaida that Allah is reminding the believers of their commitment:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَوْفُواْ بِالْعُقُودِ ………… {1}

O believers! Fulfil your contract obligations…

When we are not concerned with pleasing Allah then automatically we become people pleasers and think ourselves very successful if we are popular. But Allah is warning us that our dealings with people should be based on the standard given to us by Allah. We should help others only in goodness, not in wrong things:

وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الْبرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ {2}

Cooperate with one another in righteousness and piety, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression. Have fear of Allah. Allah is stern in punishment.

After having all these gems in our book how can we say that Islam is so difficult or confusing? It is just that we don’t taste a thing and then go around saying that it is tasteless…! Similarly our attitude towards Salat is like facing a burden. Then we make excuses that praying is difficult because we have to do “wudhu”. See Ayat- 6, in which after giving us all the details of how to purify ourselves, Allah says:

مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهَّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ {6}

Allah does not wish to burden you; He only wishes to purify you and to perfect His favour upon you, so that you may be thankful.

Next I want to share with you the joy of finding these beautiful words…. They seemed to shine out on the page….It seems like Allah has revealed this ayat to me just now to sum up the story of my life. I used to have everything but there was always this anxiety of being incomplete and lost. But when Allah blessed me with the Quran, I felt like I had been living in a dark house and now it was filled with light and love of Allah. There are so many people out there, walking around in semi darkness and I wish they would all light up their lives with Quran……because without knowing Allah there is no peace:

قَدْ جَاءكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ {15}

يَهْدِي بِهِ اللّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلاَمِ وَيُخْرِجُهُم مِّنِ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ {16}

There has come to you from Allah a new Light and a clear Book, with which Allah will guide to the ways of peace all those who seek His good pleasure and bring them out of the depth of darkness into the light of His grace and guide them to the Right Way.

Everything has a price and the more valuable a thing is the more you have to pay for it. So how can the most precious thing in the world be served to you on a tray, just like that? Quran is already with us but to make it a part of our life we have to struggle, in order to be successful:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَاهِدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ {35}

O believers! Fear Allah and seek the means to be closer to Him and make Jihad (struggle) in His Way so that you may be successful.

It is a fact that there is much confusion regarding the different religions because even Muslims don’t know what Allah has revealed in the Quran. All the Prophets had brought the same religion but people forgot the real teachings and created different sects according to their own interests. It is so clear if we believe in the words of Quran but those who don’t want to believe will always create confusions. So Allah says in the following ayat that the real thing for us to do is to spend our energies in whatever good we can do instead of trying to resolve these issues:

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءكَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الخَيْرَاتِ إِلَى الله مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ {48}

To you, O Muhammad, We have revealed this Book with the truth. It confirms whatever has remained intact in the scriptures which came before it and also to safeguard it. Therefore, judge between people according to Allah’s revelations and do not yield to their vain desires, diverging from the truth which has come to you. We have ordained a law and a Way of life for each of you. If Allah wanted He could have made all of you a single nation. But He willed otherwise in order to test you in what He has given you; therefore try to excel one another in good deeds. Ultimately you all shall return to Allah; then He will show you the truth of those matters in which you dispute.

We must remember the biggest reality that this life has to end and the end comes without warning. No one knows how much time he still has. So live each moment in Allah’s obedience and in striving to win His pleasure.

Once again I am so grateful to Allah that He enabled me to do the taleem-ul-Quran course. Because it gave me the best gift of my life………understanding Arabic and thus getting the true flavour of Allah’s words. I wish that the language of the Quran should be a compulsory subject in our schools so that whenever in our life we see or listen to the Ayaat of the Quran, they should touch our hearts and make us aware of Allah. Another thing that I understood today is that Quran is meant for the softening and nurturing of our heart and soul and when we are deprived of it, the hearts become hardened, so that we see a general lack of empathy in society. Other peoples’ miseries fail to have any impact on us. Beauty of nature all around fails to touch our hearts. We are becoming high-tech robots living an artificial life in which feelings have been replaced with gadgets just as beauty has been replaced with style!!

All of this was brought to mind by the following ayat:

وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُواْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ {83}

And when they hear what has been revealed to the messenger you will see their eyes overflowing with tears on account of the truth that they recognize; they say: Our Lord! We believe, so write us down with the witnesses (of truth).

Allah is referring to the soft hearted Christians in this ayat. But has Quran ever affected us like this even though we call ourselves Muslim?

There is also a great misconception that to be more pious, one should give up worldly comforts. Its good not be extravagant but to deprive oneself of Halal and Tayyib blessings to the extent of declaring these to be Haram is strictly forbidden in this Ayat.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُحَرِّمُواْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللّهُ لَكُمْ وَلاَ تَعْتَدُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ {87}

O you who believe! Do not forbid (yourselves) the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and do not exceed the limits; surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.

وَكُلُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللّهُ حَلاَلاً طَيِّبًا وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِيَ أَنتُم بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ {88}

And eat of the lawful and good (things) that Allah has given you, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, in whom you believe.

Allah has given us this whole world and its various foods and things of beauty and comfort. When we use these, it enables us to do shukr. But we have to be careful also, Allah doesn’t like us to be arrogant or going beyond limits. Also these worldly things should not attain such an importance in our life that we forget our real purpose of existence. They are just a means towards the end and not the end in itself.

It is inevitable that without Allah’s guidance people will fall into the trap of the shaitan. And shaitan’s biggest illusion is that he makes people see Haram things as Halal or harmless. Such is the case with alcohol consumption. You hear people say things like, “where is it written that it’s Haram?” It is said in the following ayaat:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ {90}

O you who believe! Intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Satan’s work; shun it therefore that you may be successful.

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُوقِعَ بَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء فِي الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ وَيَصُدَّكُمْ عَن ذِكْرِ اللّهِ وَعَنِ الصَّلاَةِ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ {91}

The Shaitan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you off from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you then desist?

 

How can something that is “rijs” (meaning filthy) and “Amal-e-shaitan” be Halal? Allah is clearly saying “fajtaniboohu” stay away from it!! And we say where is it written? One has to be totally blind and out of mind not to see these clear instructions.

Okay, then there is another favourite line which we use to cover up all our misdeeds with and it portrays our total lack of seriousness about the day of recompense. “Allah bara ghafoor-ur-raheem hai“ No doubt it’s true and that’s why we continue to exist on this earth and eat and drink and live our comfortable lives. Allah is kind; He does not punish us for our sins right away. And He is Rahim; He keeps giving us chances to come back on track. But it doesn’t mean that we continue on our way of life and forget about accountability. Allah wants us to come out of our complacency:

اعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ {98}

Know that Allah is severe in requiting (evil) and that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Another illusion that we have is that “aakhir sab log yehi kar rahay hain”. If someone warns us against the outcome of our wrong-doings we immediately start comparing ourselves with others, thinking that these things are now so common and look at so and so, they are even worse than us. Haram means of acquiring wealth or lack of modesty are so wide-spread that people have stopped worrying about it. Thinking that if everybody is doing it so it’s okay. Look at ayat (100)

 

قُل لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ كَثْرَةُ الْخَبِيثِ فَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ {100}

Say: The bad and the good are not equal, though the abundance of the bad may please you; so be careful of (your duty to) Allah, O men of understanding, that you may be successful.

 

Allah is addressing the “wise” people, to fear Him because they are the ones who use their intelligence in coming up with such excuses.

The chapter ends with these crystal clear words which once and for all put into light the truth that all messengers of Allah were basically human beings who were given the divine message from Allah to convey to people. They had no knowledge other than what Allah revealed to them and thus to give them the attributes of Allah is shirk, from which we should all abstain strictly.

Here Allah describes the scene of the hereafter when Allah will ask Jesus Christ if he had preached to people that they should worship him and his mother.

وَإِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ {116}

And when Allah will say: O Isa son of Maryam! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah he will say: Glory be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say); if I had said it, Thou wouldst indeed have known it; Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Thy mind, surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen things.

Look at the clarity of the message. Here is the ayat which clearly proves that all messengers preached the message of Allah’s worship:

مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ {117}

I did not say to them aught save what Thou didst enjoin me with: That serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord, and I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die, Thou wert the watcher over them, and Thou art witness of all things.

At the end what matters is that how true you are in your commitment with Allah and how truly you follow his commands. In this world we might pose in front of people and deceive even our own self; but in the hereafter the only thing of any value will be the truth:

قَالَ اللّهُ هَذَا يَوْمُ يَنفَعُ الصَّادِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا رَّضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ {119}

Allah will say: “This is the day on which the truthful will profit from their truth; they shall have gardens beneath which rivers flow to live therein forever. Allah is well-pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. This is the mighty achievement.”

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Surah Al-An’aam

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

When I used to live in the beautiful town of Abbottabad, I loved the beauty of nature all around me. And I thought to myself that my best blessing is to have eyes with which I can enjoy the delight of looking at the beautiful ever-changing colours of the sky and the cloud patterns. I loved to see the various shades of light reflecting from the tall mountains. Every sunrise and sunset used to be an “incident” and a time for inspiration..….day and night has an absolutely different significance when you move away from big city lights and the traffic.

But after reading the Quran I realized that people all over the world will be enjoying this beauty but how many of them will remember Allah who created it all? So the best blessing is the guidance to recognize Allah through all His creation and also through His most beautiful words:

الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ الظُّلُمَاتِ وَالنُّورَ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِرَبِّهِم يَعْدِلُونَ {1}

All praise is due to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth and made the darkness and the light; yet those who disbelieve set up equals with their Lord.

 

On the other hand, people who denied Allah and rejected the warnings of His messengers, were wiped out from the face of the earth even though they were very powerful and advanced in their civilization:

قُلْ سِيرُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ ثُمَّ انظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ {11}

Say: Travel in the land, then see what was the end of the rejecters.

For those who do not fear accountability and have no worry about facing the Lord of the worlds, these words should be enough, which Allah is addressing to His most beloved Prophet, Mohammad SallaAllahu alaihi wasallam

قُلْ إِنِّيَ أَخَافُ إِنْ عَصَيْتُ رَبِّي عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ {15}

Say: Surely I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the chastisement of a grievous day.

 

Allah knows that most of the time we are busy pleasing people and looking good in their eyes, at the cost of Allah’s displeasure. So He reminds us that no one can do you any good or any harm. All power is in Allah’s hands so we should be more worried about His pleasure.

وَإِن يَمْسَسْكَ اللّهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلاَ كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَإِن يَمْسَسْكَ بِخَيْرٍ فَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدُيرٌ {17}

And if Allah touch you with affliction, there is none to take it off but He; and if He visit you with good, then He has power over all things.

 

The belief of Akhirah (hereafter) is the main driving force which propels us towards the obedience of Allah. The decline in Muslims is due mostly to the false hopes that we are not going to be answerable for our lives simply because we are Muslims by birth. And so we are more and more involved in making our world a paradise instead of working towards the actual one. On the day of recompense everyone will accept the truth but then it will be too late:

قَدْ خَسِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِلِقَاء اللّهِ حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءتْهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً قَالُواْ يَا حَسْرَتَنَا عَلَى مَا فَرَّطْنَا فِيهَا وَهُمْ يَحْمِلُونَ أَوْزَارَهُمْ عَلَى ظُهُورِهِمْ أَلاَ سَاء مَا يَزِرُونَ {31}

They are losers indeed who reject the meeting of Allah; until when the hour comes upon them all of a sudden they shall say: O our grief for our neglecting it! And they shall bear their burdens on their backs; now surely evil is that which they bear.

 

The following Ayat really shook me from inside, in which we learn that to have a prosperous life doesn’t mean that Allah is pleased with us, rather it could be the opposite. Mostly we think its good luck to have all the luxuries of life. Allah says;

فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّى إِذَا فَرِحُواْ بِمَا أُوتُواْ أَخَذْنَاهُم بَغْتَةً فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْلِسُونَ {44}

But when they neglected that with which they had been admonished, We opened for them the doors of all things, until when they rejoiced in what they were given We seized them suddenly; then lo! They were in utter despair.

 

And then again the reminder, which most of the time we prefer not to give much thought to,

وَأَنذِرْ بِهِ الَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ أَن يُحْشَرُواْ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ لَيْسَ لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ وَلِيٌّ وَلاَ شَفِيعٌ لَّعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ {51}

And warn with it those who fear that they shall be gathered to their Lord– there is no guardian for them, nor any intercessor besides Him– that they may guard (against evil).

 

After reading such warnings some tend to get depressed that we have done so mush wrong, now what’s the use of doing anything?? We should remember that Allah will forgive us if we sincerely repent to Him and then bring about a positive change in our life:

وَإِذَا جَاءكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ أَنَّهُ مَن عَمِلَ مِنكُمْ سُوءًا بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ {54}

And when those who believe in Our communications come to you, say: Peace be on you, your Lord has ordained mercy on Himself, (so) that if any one of you does evil in ignorance, then turns after that and acts aright, then He is Forgiving, Merciful.

 

This is the beauty of Quran; it has a remedy for everything and a hope for everyone. That is why in most places in the Quran, Allah refers to it as a light because it really lights up your heart and your entire life. Provided you accept it openheartedly.

After all it is the book of Allah the all knower. A glimpse of His knowledge is in the following Ayat

وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْلَمُهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ {59}

And with Him are the keys of the unseen treasures– none knows them but He; and He knows what is in the land and the sea, and there falls not a leaf but He knows it, nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything green nor dry but (it is all) in a clear book.

 

Quran is such a dynamic book. It takes you from one point to the next with such ease. Allah wants us to open our eyes and see the endless miracles of the universe that surrounds us and which we take as a routine matter. This is the only religious books that talks about these ordinary things and makes us realize that these are not as ordinary as they seem to be !!

وَهُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ نَبَاتَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهُ خَضِرًا نُّخْرِجُ مِنْهُ حَبًّا مُّتَرَاكِبًا وَمِنَ النَّخْلِ مِن طَلْعِهَا قِنْوَانٌ دَانِيَةٌ وَجَنَّاتٍ مِّنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُشْتَبِهًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَشَابِهٍ انظُرُواْ إِلِى ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَيَنْعِهِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكُمْ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ {99}

And He it is Who sends down water from the cloud, then We bring forth with it buds of all (plants), then We bring forth from it green (foliage) from which We produce grain piled up (in the ear); and of the palm-tree, of the sheaths of it, come forth clusters (of dates) within reach, and gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates, alike and unlike; behold the fruit of it when it yields the fruit and the ripening of it; most surely there are signs in this for a people who believe.

 

All these are signs of the Lord and now it is our choice whether we learn from them or prefer to remain blind to reality:

قَدْ جَاءكُم بَصَآئِرُ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَنْ أَبْصَرَ فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ عَمِيَ فَعَلَيْهَا وَمَا أَنَاْ عَلَيْكُم بِحَفِيظٍ {104}

Indeed there have come to you clear proofs from your Lord; whoever will therefore see, it is for his own soul and whoever will be blind, it shall be against himself and I am not a keeper over you.

 When I pondered over this ayat, my thoughts went back in my memories to the time when I had started taleem-ul-quran more than four years ago. I had gone to gain some information, thinking that it’s high time for me to learn a few facts about my religion. But it was like love at first sight and my heart was enveloped by an overwhelming love of Quran, within the first couple of days. The passion that lighted up my life from within was so strong that I just couldn’t keep it to myself. I would call my friends and tell them what a treasure I have found and why don’t they join me in this great blessing. Some would listen with interest and others would be bored!! But there were those who tried to prove that it wasn’t really necessary to study Quran in a formal way. We already know what is good and bad and that’s enough. I would come up with all manner of reasoning but they remained firm in their disbelief. And their attitude made me more firm in mine!! It actually increased my iman, because in trying to convince them the effect was being bounced back to me.

Still it used to confuse and sadden me that why can’t I convince these intelligent people. Why are they depriving themselves of this heavenly delight of knowing their Lord through His direct speech?

Today I found the answer in the following ayat:

وَلَوْ أَنَّنَا نَزَّلْنَا إِلَيْهِمُ الْمَلآئِكَةَ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ الْمَوْتَى وَحَشَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ قُبُلاً مَّا كَانُواْ لِيُؤْمِنُواْ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَاء اللّهُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَجْهَلُونَ {111}

And even if We had sent down to them the angels and the dead had spoken to them and We had brought together all things before them, they would not believe unless Allah pleases, but most of them are ignorant.

The Quran, the amazing miracle of my Lord, is like an astonishing power which puts life into the dead……….

أَوَ مَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا كَذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ {122}

Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth? Thus what they did was made fair seeming to the unbelievers.

And this guidance is Allah’s greatest blessing………which Allah gives to those who really want it:

فَمَن يُرِدِ اللّهُ أَن يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلإِسْلاَمِ وَمَن يُرِدْ أَن يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاء كَذَلِكَ يَجْعَلُ اللّهُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ {125}

Therefore (for) whomsoever Allah intends that He would guide him aright, He expands his breast for Islam, and (for) whomsoever He intends that He should cause him to err, He makes his breast strait and narrow as though he were ascending upwards; thus does Allah lay uncleanness on those who do not believe.

People are either indifferent to religion or they debate about Halal and Haram without having any solid knowledge. Allah puts an end to all such issues by saying that if you want to know what is Haram, here are things which you should really be worrying about instead of the irrelevant issues you keep fighting over. So from ayat 151 to 153 I have extracted the following commandments:

   قُلْ تَعَالَوْاْ أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ

    Say: Come I will recite what your Lord has forbidden to you

 1- أَلاَّ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئًا

(Remember) that you do not associate anything with Him

2- وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

And show kindness to your parents

3- وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلاَدَكُم مِّنْ إمْلاَقٍ

–, and do not slay your children for (fear of) poverty

4- وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ

And do not draw nigh to indecencies, those of them which are apparent and those which are concealed

5- وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ

–, and do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except for the requirements of justice;

6- وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ

 And do not approach the property of the orphan except in the best manner

7-  وَأَوْفُواْ الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْط

And give full measure and weight with justice—

8-وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ فَاعْدِلُواْ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى

And when you speak, then be just though it be (against) a relative,

9- وَبِعَهْدِ اللّهِ أَوْفُواْ

And fulfill Allah’s covenant;

10- وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ

And follow not (other) ways, for they will lead you away from His way;

To keep our intentions clear from all hypocrisy, the following words are very effective in helping us to remember our true goal. It is very important to understand that on the Day of Judgment Allah will accept only those deeds from us which we did purely for His sake. That is why purity of intention should be our main priority:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ {162}

Say. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds;

In the end of this great surah Allah once again reminds us that this life is just a test so whatever status we have been given is also a test. Mostly we are in a competitive race for materialism or keep trying to come up to some self created picture of success. Whereas the fact is that Allah will judge us according to our righteousness and character and not by any material standards:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلاَئِفَ الأَرْضِ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَكُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ {165}

And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.

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Surah Al-A’raaf

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

Surah Al-A’raaf opens with the clear message that whatever we do in life we must remember that our real destination is the hereafter and there should be no doubt at all, of that final Day of Judgment:

وَالْوَزْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ {8}

And the measuring out on that day will be just; then as for him whose measure (of good deeds) is heavy; those are they who shall be successful;

 

If we remember this message then it will be no problem for us to obey whatever command Allah gives us. But if people have no contact with Quran then they try to find fault with all religious matters. That is why we see that what bothers most of us so called intellectuals is the seemingly strict dress code associated with being a Muslim. They wonder at it and say things like “why such rigidity?” OR “what does it matter to others what I am wearing?” I wish I could make them see the following verses in which first of all Allah tells us the purpose of dressing up:

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَارِي سَوْءَاتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىَ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ {26}

O children of Adam! We have indeed sent down to you clothing to cover your shame, and (clothing) for beauty and clothing that guards (against evil), that is the best. This is of the communications of Allah that they may be mindful.

Although we know that shaitan is our biggest enemy but I had never known until today that his first attack on Adam (a.s) and his wife was to remove their clothing…as is being told in the following ayat:

فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ لِيُبْدِيَ لَهُمَا مَا وُورِيَ عَنْهُمَا مِن سَوْءَاتِهِمَا …{20}

But the Shaitan made an evil suggestion to them that he might uncover to them what had been hidden from them of their private parts……

And even today this is what the devil has done. He has deprived us of our modesty and thus our dignity. That is why Allah warns us in the following Ayaat

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَاتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ {27}

O children of Adam! let not the Shaitan cause you to fall into affliction as he expelled your parents from the garden, pulling off from them both their clothing that he might show them their evil inclinations, he surely sees you, he as well as his host, from whence you cannot see them; surely We have made the Shaitan to be the guardians of those who do not believe.

Here Allah also reminds us that to be religious doesn’t mean that we remain untidy and shabby, rather it is recommended that we put on our best clothes for Masjid,

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ {31}

O children of Adam! Attend to your adornment (by wearing clean clothes) at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.

Vulgarity is absolutely Haram and so we should learn to differentiate it from “zeenat”. Allah is so kind that he leaves nothing for us to be confused about; rather everything has been explained to the last detail.

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ {33}

Say: My Lord has only prohibited indecencies, those of them that are apparent as well as those that are concealed, and sin and rebellion without justice, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down any authority, and that you say against Allah what you do not know.

There are some Ayaat of the Quran that seem to speak out of the pages and one feels them to be so alive with meaning and depth. Such are the following three ayaat that describe the entry of good people in Jannat, in stark comparison to the terrible fate of the dwellers of hell fire.

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الأَنْهَارُ وَقَالُواْ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَـذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللّهُ لَقَدْ جَاءتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ {43}

And We will remove whatever of ill-feeling is in their breasts; the rivers shall flow beneath them and they shall say: All praise is due to Allah Who guided us to this, and we would not have found the way had it not been that Allah had guided us; certainly the messengers of our Lord brought the truth; and it shall be cried out to them that this is the garden of which you are made heirs for what you did.

وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ أَفِيضُواْ عَلَيْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللّهُ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ {50}

And the inmates of the fire shall call out to the dwellers of the garden, saying: Pour on us some water or of that which Allah has given you. They shall say: Surely Allah has prohibited them both to the unbelievers.

We should all focus our attention on how we call out to Allah in our prayers because Islam teaches us etiquettes for everything.

ادْعُواْ رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ {55}

Call on your Lord humbly and secretly; surely He does not love those who exceed the limits.

Allah’s message is so easily available to all and yet we see that very few people are really affected by it and we wonder why? The answer is that the same rainfall produces different results from different places and it depends on the place where it falls.

وَالْبَلَدُ الطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ وَالَّذِي خَبُثَ لاَ يَخْرُجُ إِلاَّ نَكِدًا كَذَلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَشْكُرُونَ {58}

And as for the good land, its vegetation springs forth (abundantly) by the permission of its Lord, and (as for) that which is inferior (its herbage) comes forth but scantily; thus do we repeat the communications for a people who give thanks.

At the end of the Para there is a detailed account of Prophet Noah (A.S.) and how he called his people towards the worship of one God but he was rejected by the majority. Similar was the case of Hud (A.S.), Salih (a.s) and Lut (a.s)

They all preached the same message of Tauheed but people chose to go against them and thus Allah sent down His punishment on each of those nations, destroying them and wiping them out of the face of the earth, and saving the righteous ones along with their prophets.

These stories are not to create any sensation rather it is for us to ponder over our own state of Imaan and obedience to Allah’s teachings. We should not be carefree of Allah’s wrath because who knows when our time limit is over and then we have to face whatever we have earned in our life.

Next we see how the Prophet Shoaib (a.s), who was sent to the city of Madyan, was rejected by the elites, as was the case with all the Prophets. Even today we see that mostly the upper class of the society deviates from the true religion and are thoroughly absorbed in the life of this world. Let’s think about it, why is it so? After all these are the privileged ones who have access to all sorts of knowledge of the world, then why don’t they comprehend the simple fact that only Allah has the right to be worshipped and no one can escape the final day of judgment. Why do they continue to live in the illusion that religion is only for the backward people? And they create doubts about the validity of Islamic way of life, in the hearts of other people too. Quran tells us that the reason behind this, is their arrogance and their insecurity, that if people start worshipping one Allah then no one will bow down to them and thus they will lose their superiority. But look what happens to their grandeur:

فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ {91}

Then the earthquake overtook them, so they became motionless bodies in their abode.

It is a big misconception that if you enter Islam then you will be deprived of worldly things. Allah tells us

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُواْ وَاتَّقَواْ لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَاتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاء وَالأَرْضِ وَلَـكِن كَذَّبُواْ فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ {96}

And if the people of the towns had believed and guarded (against evil) We would certainly have opened up for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they rejected, so We overtook them for what they had earned.

The story of Musa (a.s) spans over the next fifty-four ayaat. Allah had given Musa (a.s) two important tasks. One was to invite Firoun towards the worship of one God and the other was to save the people of Bani-Israel from Firoun’s subjugation and lead them back to their own country i.e. Palestine. When he was asked to show them some signs to prove his prophet hood, he throws his staff which turns into a snake and shows them his shining hand. And so they blamed him that he is just a magician.

قَالَ الْمَلأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّ هَـذَا لَسَاحِرٌ عَلِيمٌ {109}

The chiefs of Firon’s people said: most surely this is an enchanter possessed of knowledge:

 

They called upon all the magicians in the hope of defeating Musa (a.s) but of course they were no match for the true miracles from Allah and thus they recognized that he was really a Prophet so they all prostrated in front of Allah

وَأُلْقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ {120}

And the enchanters were thrown down, prostrating (themselves).

 

Firoun was outraged at this and threatened them

لأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُم مِّنْ خِلاَفٍ ثُمَّ لأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ {124}

I will certainly cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, then will I crucify you all together

But look at the courage and tawakkal (trust) of those new-Muslims

قَالُواْ إِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا مُنقَلِبُونَ {125}

They said: Surely to our Lord shall we go back:

وَمَا تَنقِمُ مِنَّا إِلاَّ أَنْ آمَنَّا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّنَا لَمَّا جَاءتْنَا رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَتَوَفَّنَا مُسْلِمِينَ {126}

And you do not take revenge on us except because we have believed in the communications of our Lord when they came to us! Our Lord: Pour out upon us patience and cause us to die in submission.

 

And Musa (a.s) encourages them with these most beautiful words

قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللّهِ وَاصْبِرُواْ إِنَّ الأَرْضَ لِلّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ {128}

Musa said to his people: Ask help from Allah and be patient; surely the land is Allah’s; He causes such of His servants to inherit it as He pleases, and the end is for those who guard (against evil).

 

Allah sent down various calamities as warnings to the people of Firoun that they might surrender, until finally Allah drowned them in the sea and saved the people of Bani Israel

وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُواْ يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِقَ الأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَى عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ وَدَمَّرْنَا مَا كَانَ يَصْنَعُ فِرْعَوْنُ وَقَوْمُهُ وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعْرِشُونَ {137}

And We made the people who were deemed weak to inherit the eastern lands and the western ones which We had blessed; and the good word of your Lord was fulfilled in the children of Israel because they bore up (sufferings) patiently; and We utterly destroyed what Firon and his people had wrought and what they built.

 When Musa (a.s) went to receive guidance from His Lord, he says with so much love

وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ وَلَمَّا جَاء مُوسَى لِمِيقَاتِنَا  …………

And when Musa came at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said: My Lord! Show me (Thyself), so that I may look upon Thee.

 And Allah replies

قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي وَلَـكِنِ انظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {143}

He said: You cannot (bear to) see Me but look at the mountain, if it remains firm in its place, then will you see Me; but when his Lord manifested His glory to the mountain He made it crumble and Musa fell down in a swoon; then when he recovered, he said: Glory be to Thee, I turn to Thee, and I am the first of the believers.

 

And then he is given the Torah

وَكَتَبْنَا لَهُ فِي الأَلْوَاحِ مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مَّوْعِظَةً وَتَفْصِيلاً لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَخُذْهَا بِقُوَّةٍ وَأْمُرْ قَوْمَكَ يَأْخُذُواْ بِأَحْسَنِهَا سَأُرِيكُمْ دَارَ الْفَاسِقِينَ {145}

And We ordained for him in the tablets admonition of every kind and clear explanation of all things; so take hold of them with firmness and enjoin your people to take hold of what is best thereof; I will show you the abode of the transgressors.

 

But the Bani Israel invented their own god during his absence

وَاتَّخَذَ قَوْمُ مُوسَى مِن بَعْدِهِ مِنْ حُلِيِّهِمْ عِجْلاً جَسَدًا لَّهُ خُوَارٌ أَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّهُ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمْ وَلاَ يَهْدِيهِمْ سَبِيلاً اتَّخَذُوهُ وَكَانُواْ ظَالِمِينَ {148}

And Musa’s people made of their ornaments a calf after him, a (mere) body, which gave a mooing sound. What! Could they not see that it did not speak to them nor guide them the way? They took it (for worship) and they were unjust.

 

And then they had to pay for it

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ الْعِجْلَ سَيَنَالُهُمْ غَضَبٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَذِلَّةٌ فِي الْحَياةِ الدُّنْيَا وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُفْتَرِينَ {152}

(As for) those who took the calf (for a god), surely wrath from their Lord and disgrace in this world’s life shall overtake them, and thus do we recompense the devisers of lies.

 

But Allah is kind and He forgives if someone repents sincerely

وَالَّذِينَ عَمِلُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ ثُمَّ تَابُواْ مِن بَعْدِهَا وَآمَنُواْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِن بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ {153}

And (as to) those who do evil deeds, then repent after that and believe, your Lord after that is most surely Forgiving, Merciful.

 

There is great treasure of wisdom to be learned from this story but mostly we have to convince ourselves and others too, of the complete authority and power of Allah, because this is the very basis of Islam. We can say that we don’t worship statues but go to any “darbaar” (shrines) and see how people behave in front of the graves. This is shirk and we need to come out of our self created illusions and justifications. The remedy is a close contact with the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet (s.a.w)

وَالَّذِينَ يُمَسَّكُونَ بِالْكِتَابِ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ إِنَّا لاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُصْلِحِينَ {170}

And (as for) those who hold fast by the Book and keep up prayer, surely we do not waste the reward of the right doers.

 

And why do people continue to reject Allah’s words and Allah’s religion, don’t they have any sense? They appear to be so smart and successful but look at what Allah thinks of them

لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لاَّ يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لاَّ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا أُوْلَـئِكَ كَالأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ {179}

they have hearts with which they do not understand, and they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear; they are as cattle, nay, they are in worse errors; these are the heedless ones.

They don’t even look around and see what signs Allah has created for us to see that this universe and our existence in it was not made without a purpose. All our deeds are being recorded and we will be paid accordingly on the Day of Judgment. Who knows when this time will be over?

أَوَلَمْ يَنظُرُواْ فِي مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا خَلَقَ اللّهُ مِن شَيْءٍ وَأَنْ عَسَى أَن يَكُونَ قَدِ اقْتَرَبَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَهُ يُؤْمِنُونَ {185}

Have they not pondered over the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and whatever Allah has created, and that maybe their hour of death has come closer? In what message after this would they then believe?

 

But the shaitan who is our biggest enemy does not let us remember this fact and forever makes us forget that our time is running out. Only those who fear Allah and remember Him, on them shaitan has no hold:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِّنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُواْ فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْصِرُونَ {201}

Those who fear Allah, when they are tempted by Shaitan, they have but to remember Allah and they shall see the light (right course of action)!

 

Allah’s remembrance is attained by reading and listening to the Quran attentively. This is the best way to achieve Allah consciousness:

وَإِذَا قُرِئَ الْقُرْآنُ فَاسْتَمِعُواْ لَهُ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ {204}

When the Qur’an is recited, listen to it with complete silence so that you may be shown mercy.

 

And we should pray to Allah at all times so that we are saved from forgetfulness:

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعاً وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالآصَالِ وَلاَ تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ {205}

Bring your Rabb to remembrance deep in your soul with humility and in reverence without raising your voice, both in the mornings and in the evenings; and be not of those who are heedless.

 

This is the essence of our practical submission……….a way to achieve a strong bond with Allah, through the Quran, through duas and through bowing in front of Him with love and humility. This bond with Allah will keep us on the straightway and will protect us from all other distractions. May Allah protect us from the devil and enable us to live a purposeful, success oriented life. Ameen

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Surah Al-Anfaal

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

In the Quran Allah says that those who believe and those who do not believe, cannot be equal. It means that your faith will definitely influence your actions. The consciousness of faith is felt in the heart but it finds expression in speech as well as deeds. Therefore in the beginning of Surah Anfaal, Allah has outlined for us the picture of a true Believer: 

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ {2}

Those only are believers whose hearts become full of fear when Allah is mentioned, and when His communications are recited to them they increase them in faith, and in their Lord do they trust.

الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ {3}

Those who keep up prayer and spend (benevolently) out of what We have given them.

أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقًّا لَّهُمْ دَرَجَاتٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ {4}

These are the believers in truth; they shall have from their Lord exalted grades and forgiveness and an honorable sustenance. 

This was the true faith which enabled the small group of Muslims in Madinah to defeat a large army of the Quraish of Makkah in the battle of Badar. Allah rewarded them for this faith and courage and gave them a splendid victory. We see how a small group of people can defeat a much larger group with the help of Allah, provided their faith is strong and their characters are free from hypocrisy.

فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ رَمَى وَلِيُبْلِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلاء حَسَناً إِنَّ اللّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ {17}

So you did not slay them, but it was Allah Who slew them, and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy), but it was Allah Who smote, and that He might confer upon the believers a good gift from Himself; surely Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

ذَلِكُمْ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ مُوهِنُ كَيْدِ الْكَافِرِينَ {18}

This, and that Allah is the weakener of the struggle of the unbelievers.

 

And next it is my pleasure to share with you my most favourite Ayat which needs no explanation because it speaks out to you;

“O those who believe ……..!!  

يِا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إَن تَتَّقُواْ اللّهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْقَاناً وَيُكَفِّرْ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ وَاللّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ {29}

O you who believe! If you are careful of (your duty to) Allah, He will grant you a distinction and do away with your evils and forgive you; and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.

 

And don’t worry about the rejection of people because:

وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ مَوْلاَكُمْ نِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ {40}

And if they turn back, then know that Allah is your Patron; most excellent is the Patron and most excellent the Helper.

 

Next Allah reminds the Muslims that the ultimate victory is for the Truth. But the responsibility of the believers is that they should have patience and determination which can be achieved only through the remembrance of Allah: 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا لَقِيتُمْ فِئَةً فَاثْبُتُواْ وَاذْكُرُواْ اللّهَ كَثِيراً لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلَحُونَ {45}

O you who believe! When you meet a party, then be firm, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful.

وَأَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلاَ تَنَازَعُواْ فَتَفْشَلُواْ وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ وَاصْبِرُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ {46}

And obey Allah and His Messenger and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient. 

The essence of our religion is to have purity of intention and consistency in effort; because our efforts truly reflect our inner desires and aspirations. We might think that we want something but we strive only towards those things which we really think are important to us. Therefore Allah has stated in very clear words: 

ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللّهَ لَمْ يَكُ مُغَيِّرًا نِّعْمَةً أَنْعَمَهَا عَلَى قَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ {53}

This is because Allah has never changed a favor which He has conferred upon a people until they change their own condition; and because Allah is Hearing, Knowing; 

And to further emphasize the point is this powerful Ayat which fills one with wonder at how minutely Allah has stated every bit of guidance for us in this great book. 

وَأَعِدُّواْ لَهُم مَّا اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن قُوَّةٍ وَمِن رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدْوَّ اللّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ وَآخَرِينَ مِن دُونِهِمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَهُمُ اللّهُ يَعْلَمُهُمْ وَمَا تُنفِقُواْ مِن شَيْءٍ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ يُوَفَّ إِلَيْكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تُظْلَمُونَ {60}

And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in Allah’s way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly. 

And just as we are in the danger of thinking these material things to be the ultimate source of our security, Allah brings us back to the reality that you can never rely only on the military preparedness. The real force is the unity and goodwill among the Muslims.

وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ لَوْ أَنفَقْتَ مَا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعاً مَّا أَلَّفَتْ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَـكِنَّ اللّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ {63}

And united their hearts; had you spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah united them; surely He is Mighty, Wise.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَسْبُكَ اللّهُ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {64}

O Prophet! Allah is sufficient for you and (for) such of the believers as follow you. 

Another amazing characteristic of a true believer is Sabar which transforms his capabilities from an ordinary level to unimaginable heights. And sabar (patience) is not about being passive and doing nothing. Rather it means constancy and firmness in obedience and abstaining from all evil and steadfastness in the face of all calamities and dangers. Therefore Allah says 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى الْقِتَالِ إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَابِرُونَ يَغْلِبُواْ مِئَتَيْنِ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُم مِّئَةٌ يَغْلِبُواْ أَلْفًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لاَّ يَفْقَهُونَ {65}

 O Prophet! Urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand. 

At the end of this surah Allah summarizes the required criteria for true believers: It is such a powerful reminder that Allah’s forgiveness and honorable provision is only for those who have a true faith and they express it in their personal lives and also in the collective struggle of the Muslims in the way of Allah.  

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَهَاجَرُواْ وَجَاهَدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آوَواْ وَّنَصَرُواْ أُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقًّا لَّهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ {74}

And (as for) those who believed and emigrated and struggled hard in Allah’s way, and those who gave shelter and helped, these are the believers truly; they shall have forgiveness and honorable provision.

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Surah At-Taubah

Alhamdulillah we have reached Surah At-Taubah. This is the only Surah of the Qur’an to which Bismillah is not prefixed. Though different scholars have given different reasons for this, but the simple reason for omitting Bismillah is that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) himself did not read it at the beginning of the Surah. Therefore the Companions who used to write the revelations did not add it either.

This is a very powerful Surah and the western media have used its certain verses to create a false image of Islam, as a terrorist, extremist religion, and even Muslims themselves are not very clear on this. Therefore, it is our duty that we should have at least some basic knowledge of the actual context of its revelation, so that we might understand and absorb the actual message in this magnificent Surah.

In the famous pact of Hudabiya, it was agreed that there would be no war between the Muslims and the disbelievers for ten years. The Quraish violated this pact and the allies of Muslims were brutally murdered. As a result an army of ten thousand Muslims marched upon Makkah and conquered it in a bloodless victory. One year after the conquest of Makkah, the verses of Surah At-Taubah were revealed, in which a clear declaration was made that all the treaties with the disbelievers were abolished and the Muslims would be released from the treaty obligations with them after a respite of four months. This declaration was necessary for uprooting completely the system of life based on shirk and to make Arabia exclusively the center of Islam .

بَرَاءةٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى الَّذِينَ عَاهَدتُّم مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ {1}

 (This is a declaration of) immunity by Allah and His Messenger towards those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement.

فَسِيحُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّكُمْ غَيْرُ مُعْجِزِي اللّهِ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ مُخْزِي الْكَافِرِينَ {2}

So go about in the land for four months and know that you cannot weaken Allah and that Allah will bring disgrace to the unbelievers.

وَأَذَانٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْحَجِّ الأَكْبَرِ أَنَّ اللّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولُهُ فَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَإِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّكُمْ غَيْرُ مُعْجِزِي اللّهِ وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ {3}

And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve.

 

Islam teaches us justice……….courage should not be confused with unjustified aggression……..Allah tells us in these words

فَمَا اسْتَقَامُواْ لَكُمْ فَاسْتَقِيمُواْ لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ {7}

So as long as they are true to you, be true to them; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty).

But for those who break their promise,  

وَإِن نَّكَثُواْ أَيْمَانَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ عَهْدِهِمْ وَطَعَنُواْ فِي دِينِكُمْ فَقَاتِلُواْ أَئِمَّةَ الْكُفْرِ إِنَّهُمْ لاَ أَيْمَانَ لَهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَنتَهُونَ {12}

And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief– surely their oaths are nothing– so that they may desist.

أَلاَ تُقَاتِلُونَ قَوْمًا نَّكَثُواْ أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَهَمُّواْ بِإِخْرَاجِ الرَّسُولِ وَهُم بَدَؤُوكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ فَاللّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَوْهُ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤُمِنِينَ {13}

What! Will you not fight a people, who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Messenger, and they attacked you first; do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.

قَاتِلُوهُمْ يُعَذِّبْهُمُ اللّهُ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ وَيُخْزِهِمْ وَيَنصُرْكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَيَشْفِ صُدُورَ قَوْمٍ مُّؤْمِنِينَ {14}

Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people.

 

Ponder over these Ayaat and consider the atrocities that are being committed against the Muslims world wide. Do we care? We shed one tear and then we forget about it. Allah asks, “Atakhshaunahum?” Do you fear them…is that it??” But Allah is more deserving that we should fear Him if we are believers.

How can we be such hypocrites? And then we complain that why does not Allah show any mercy on us. But look into our own hearts and do we find any care, any thought, any mercy for anyone except our own over-pampered selves??

And selfishness leads to cowardice, and so Allah asks, do you fear people? “Atakhshaunahum?”

Next Allah says that the guardianship of the Kaaba will now be in the hands of the believers.

إِنَّمَا يَعْمُرُ مَسَاجِدَ اللّهِ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَلَمْ يَخْشَ إِلاَّ اللّهَ فَعَسَى أُوْلَـئِكَ أَن يَكُونُواْ مِنَ الْمُهْتَدِينَ {18}

Only he shall visit the mosques of Allah who believes in Allah and the latter day, and keeps up prayer and pays the poor-rate and fears none but Allah; so (as for) these, it may be that they are of the followers of the right course. 

For Allah, the expression of faith is Jihad, not just rituals or speeches but doing something to prove that you really believe.

أَجَعَلْتُمْ سِقَايَةَ الْحَاجِّ وَعِمَارَةَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ كَمَنْ آمَنَ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَجَاهَدَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ لاَ يَسْتَوُونَ عِندَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ {19}

What! Do you make (one who undertakes) the giving of drink to the pilgrims and the guarding of the Sacred Mosque like him who believes in Allah and the latter day and strives hard in Allah’s way? They are not equal with Allah; and Allah does not guide the unjust people.

 

And if you feel that there are other things more worthy of your time and energy then hear these words of the most powerful and important Ayat of the Quran which throws back all the excuses that we please ourselves with and which we use, to put to sleep our conscience, if it dares to awaken and make us uncomfortable with its true warnings. Allah says

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ آبَاءكُمْ وَإِخْوَانَكُمْ أَوْلِيَاء إَنِ اسْتَحَبُّواْ الْكُفْرَ عَلَى الإِيمَانِ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ {23}

O you who believe! Do not take your fathers and your brothers for guardians if they love unbelief more than belief; and whoever of you takes them for a guardian, these it is that are the unjust.

قُلْ إِن كَانَ آبَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَانُكُمْ وَأَزْوَاجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَالٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَارَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَاكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَا أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ اللّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ {24}

Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk and property which you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear and dwellings which you like, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command: and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.

We are so busy in all these things that we don’t have time to even learn the ONE book that Allah has sent to us, what to talk of doing anything else. It’s not enough to say that we love Allah and the prophet; Get up and do something. All of us should analyze our potentials and then use it for the sake of Allah.

For the negative propaganda against Islam, Allah says:

يُرِيدُونَ أَن يُطْفِؤُواْ نُورَ اللّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَيَأْبَى اللّهُ إِلاَّ أَن يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ {32}

They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse.

هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ {33}

He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse

 

Apart from fear of influential people, the other major factor which deviates a person from the true way of life is the love of this world. Allah knows us so well…..

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَا لَكُمْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمُ انفِرُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ اثَّاقَلْتُمْ إِلَى الأَرْضِ أَرَضِيتُم بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الآخِرَةِ فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ {38}

O you who believe! What (excuse) have you that when it is said to you: Go forth in Allah’s way, you should incline heavily to earth; are you contented with this world’s life instead of the hereafter? But the provision of this world’s life compared with the hereafter is but little.

 

Allah is all powerful. He doesn’t need our help to uphold His religion. Allah reminds us of the dangerous journey of Hijrah that the Prophet (s.a.w) made in the company of his best friend, Abu Bakar (r.a) as an example of the miraculous support of Allah…….

إِلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ السُّفْلَى وَكَلِمَةُ اللّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ {40}

If you will not aid him, Allah certainly aided him when those who disbelieved expelled him, he being the second of the two, when they were both in the cave, when he said to his companion: Grieve not, surely Allah is with us. So Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see, and made lowest the word of those who disbelieved; and the word of Allah, that is the highest; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

 

The next Ayaat are about the Tabuk Expedition. Because of the danger of an attack by the Caesar of Rome, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) made an open declaration for making preparations for the Campaign against the Roman Empire, which was one of the two greatest empires of the world of that period. all the apparent circumstances were against it because, there was famine in the country and the long awaited crops were about to ripen: the burning heat of the scorching summer season of Arabia was at its height and there was not enough money for preparations in general, and for equipment and conveyance in particular. The believers made unforgettable sacrifices and on the other hand the Hypocrites did their best to discourage them openly and by making excuses that they should be allowed to stay behind. In short, the occasion became the touchstone for discriminating a true believer from a hypocrite.

Allah’s command is clear

انْفِرُواْ خِفَافًا وَثِقَالاً وَجَاهِدُواْ بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ {41}

Go forth light and heavy, and strive hard in Allah’s way with your property and your persons; this is better for you, if you know. 

And about the hypocrites, Allah says:

لَوْ كَانَ عَرَضًا قَرِيبًا وَسَفَرًا قَاصِدًا لاَّتَّبَعُوكَ وَلَـكِن بَعُدَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الشُّقَّةُ وَسَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللّهِ لَوِ اسْتَطَعْنَا لَخَرَجْنَا مَعَكُمْ يُهْلِكُونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ {42}

Had it been a near advantage and a short journey, they would certainly have followed you, but the tedious journey was too long for them; and they swear by Allah: If we had been able, we would certainly have gone forth with you; they cause their own souls to perish, and Allah knows that they are most surely liars. 

Allah says even if the Hypocrites had gone with you they would have caused more harm than good

لَوْ خَرَجُواْ فِيكُم مَّا زَادُوكُمْ إِلاَّ خَبَالاً ولأَوْضَعُواْ خِلاَلَكُمْ يَبْغُونَكُمُ الْفِتْنَةَ وَفِيكُمْ سَمَّاعُونَ لَهُمْ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِالظَّالِمِينَ {47}

Had they gone forth with you, they would not have added to you aught save corruption, and they would certainly have hurried about among you seeking (to sow) dissension among you, and among you there are those who hearken for their sake; and Allah knows the unjust.

Look at how Allah points them out 

إِن تُصِبْكَ حَسَنَةٌ تَسُؤْهُمْ وَإِن تُصِبْكَ مُصِيبَةٌ يَقُولُواْ قَدْ أَخَذْنَا أَمْرَنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَيَتَوَلَّواْ وَّهُمْ فَرِحُونَ {50}

If good befalls you, it grieves them, and if hardship afflicts you, they say: Indeed we had taken care of our affair before; and they turn back and are glad.

 

We see around us people living like kings and we wonder why Allah is so Rahim upon those who transgress every limit of the religion. Quran gives the answer 

فَلاَ تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلاَدُهُمْ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُم بِهَا فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَتَزْهَقَ أَنفُسُهُمْ وَهُمْ كَافِرُونَ {55}

Let not then their property and their children excite your admiration; Allah only wishes to chastise them with these in this world’s life and (that) their souls may depart while they are unbelievers. 

أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّهُ مَن يُحَادِدِ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَأَنَّ لَهُ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدًا فِيهَا ذَلِكَ الْخِزْيُ الْعَظِيمُ {63}

Do they not know that whoever acts in opposition to Allah and His Messenger, he shall surely have the fire of hell to abide in it? That is the grievous abasement.

 

And for the true believers there are gardens of delight and eternal bliss!!

وَعَدَ اللّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَمَسَاكِنَ طَيِّبَةً فِي جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ أَكْبَرُ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ {72}

Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah’s goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement.

 

Now we see that during the Tabuk expedition, the hypocrites in Madinah were in a fix……..one one hand they were not prepared to make any sacrifice for the sake of Allah, because they did not believe in the truth of the religion which they had apparently accepted; and on the other hand they were afraid to expose their disbelief so they made all sorts of excuses as to why it was not possible for them to go with the Prophet (s.a.w).

Here Allah is cautioning the Prophet (s.a.w) that upon his return from the expedition, the hypocrites would come to him trying to win his heart by further excuses to avoid any reproach.

Look at the contempt in Allah’s words,

سَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللّهِ لَكُمْ إِذَا انقَلَبْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ لِتُعْرِضُواْ عَنْهُمْ فَأَعْرِضُواْ عَنْهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ رِجْسٌ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ جَزَاء بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ {95}

They will swear to you by Allah when you return to them so that you may turn aside from them; so do turn aside from them; surely they are unclean and their abode is hell; a recompense for what they earned.

 

Hypocrisy is more detestable to Allah than even the open rejection of Islam because a hypocrite has more potential to harm the inner strength of Muslims, through his deceit and mischief.

The main characteristic of a hypocrite is that he tries to impress people by portraying a false image. Allah says even if they succeed in pleasing you that is not going to save them from Allah’s punishment.

يَحْلِفُونَ لَكُمْ لِتَرْضَوْاْ عَنْهُمْ فَإِن تَرْضَوْاْ عَنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَرْضَى عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ {96}

They will swear to you that you may be pleased with them; but if you are pleased with them, yet surely Allah is not pleased with the transgressing people.

Now it’s very important to understand, what it is, which actually differentiates a Momin from a Munafiq. Because apparently both of them could be standing in the same mosque, shoulder to shoulder, offering prayers, going on Hajj, give charities. What is it that earns one the splendors of Jannah and the other one the lowest rank of jahannum? It’s that very small yet the most significant thing called Niyat or intention and it relates to our level of faith. When we do something to win Allah’s pleasure it becomes Ibaadah and the same thing becomes deceit and treachery when it’s done only to look good or acceptable in the eyes of people. This is so accurately stated in the following two Ayaat,

وَمِنَ الأَعْرَابِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مَا يُنفِقُ مَغْرَمًا وَيَتَرَبَّصُ بِكُمُ الدَّوَائِرَ عَلَيْهِمْ دَآئِرَةُ السَّوْءِ وَاللّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ {98}

And of the dwellers of the desert are those who take what they spend to be a fine, and they wait (the befalling of) calamities to you; on them (will be) the evil calamity; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

وَمِنَ الأَعْرَابِ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَيَتَّخِذُ مَا يُنفِقُ قُرُبَاتٍ عِندَ اللّهِ وَصَلَوَاتِ الرَّسُولِ أَلا إِنَّهَا قُرْبَةٌ لَّهُمْ سَيُدْخِلُهُمُ اللّهُ فِي رَحْمَتِهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ {99}

And of the dwellers of the desert are those who believe in Allah and the latter day and take what they spend to be (means of) the nearness of Allah and the Messenger’s prayers; surely it shall be means of nearness for them; Allah will make them enter into His mercy; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

 

And next I would like to quote the most beautiful Ayat, in which Allah speaks of the rewards He has prepared for His most beloved people,

وَالسَّابِقُونَ الأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ {100}

And (as for) the foremost, the first of the Muhajirs and the Ansars, and those who followed them with excellence, Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them forever; that is the mighty achievement.

 

SubhaanAllah!! What kind of extraordinary people they were,

First who gave up their lives, their wealth, their homes, their time, their energies, EVERYTHING, to uphold the Religion.

And those in Madinah, who helped them by opening the doors, not only to their homes but their hearts as well. How generously they made them a part of their lives.

Finally those who follow them with EHSAAN……….. What does it mean? Ehsaan means to do everything on the level of excellence, not just half heartedly or grudgingly. The Prophet S.A.W. defined Ehsaan as “doing Ibaadah as if you can see Allah” Just think how would we stand in prayer if we could see Allah?

Whenever we read about these companions of the Prophet, we sigh and give up with these words “Oh, how can we compare with those people…….they were the chosen ones” But this third category is open for all who wish to stand with the “saabiqoon al awwaloon” (the first and foremost) And all it requires, is for us to be really committed in following the Prophet and His companions. To follow we have to know which way they went and how? So this Ramadan lets commit ourselves to the task of getting to know about these wonderful people. Instead of buying two dresses for Eid, let’s buy just one and get a book in place of the other. Educate yourself and follow ………..with excellence!! That’s the key word, so inscribe it in your heart……excellence!!

Next Allah mentions about the mosque that the munafiqs had built to hold their secret meetings and to plot against the Prophet s.a.w. and His followers. To project it as being harmless, they invited the Prophet s.a.w. to pray in it. Allah warned the Prophet

لاَ تَقُمْ فِيهِ أَبَدًا لَّمَسْجِدٌ أُسِّسَ عَلَى التَّقْوَى مِنْ أَوَّلِ يَوْمٍ أَحَقُّ أَن تَقُومَ فِيهِ فِيهِ رِجَالٌ يُحِبُّونَ أَن يَتَطَهَّرُواْ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِينَ {108}

Never stand in it; certainly a masjid founded on piety from the very first day is more deserving that you should stand in it; in it are men who love that they should be purified; and Allah loves those who purify themselves. 

What was the reason? Again the same thing, Intention, which is the basis of any action.

أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَى تَقْوَى مِنَ اللّهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىَ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَانْهَارَ بِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ {109}

Is he, therefore, better who lays his foundation on fear of Allah and (His) good pleasure, or he who lays his foundation on the edge of a cracking hollowed bank, so it broke down with him into the fire of hell; and Allah does not guide the unjust people.

 

One of the most magnificent ayat is the one in which Allah says he has bought the souls of the believers in return for Jannat………what does it mean…….we have sold ourselves………so when you sell something then do you have any right over it…… no ! It belongs to the buyer…….so who do we really belong to? To Allah Subhaanahu wa Taala!!

Isn’t it awesome?

إِنَّ اللّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الجَنَّةَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنجِيلِ وَالْقُرْآنِ وَمَنْ أَوْفَى بِعَهْدِهِ مِنَ اللّهِ فَاسْتَبْشِرُواْ بِبَيْعِكُمُ الَّذِي بَايَعْتُم بِهِ وَذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ {111}

Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.

 

Obviously we would all like to be in this category. So Allah has given us a criterion in the next Ayat

التَّائِبُونَ الْعَابِدُونَ الْحَامِدُونَ السَّائِحُونَ الرَّاكِعُونَ السَّاجِدونَ الآمِرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَالنَّاهُونَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَالْحَافِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ اللّهِ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {112}

They who turn (to Allah), who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who keep the limits of Allah; and give good news to the believers.

 

Allah encourages the Believers who sacrificed for the campaign of Tabuk

لاَ يُصِيبُهُمْ ظَمَأٌ وَلاَ نَصَبٌ وَلاَ مَخْمَصَةٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَلاَ يَطَؤُونَ مَوْطِئًا يَغِيظُ الْكُفَّارَ وَلاَ يَنَالُونَ مِنْ عَدُوٍّ نَّيْلاً إِلاَّ كُتِبَ لَهُم بِهِ عَمَلٌ صَالِحٌ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ {120}

there afflicts them not thirst or fatigue or hunger in Allah’s way, nor do they tread a path which enrages the unbelievers, nor do they attain from the enemy what they attain, but a good work is written down to them on account of it; surely Allah does not waste the reward of the doers of good;

وَلاَ يُنفِقُونَ نَفَقَةً صَغِيرَةً وَلاَ كَبِيرَةً وَلاَ يَقْطَعُونَ وَادِيًا إِلاَّ كُتِبَ لَهُمْ لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ {121}

Nor do they spend anything that may be spent, small or great, nor do they traverse a valley, but it is written down to their credit, that Allah may reward them with the best of what they have done.

At the end of this awesome Surah Allah fills us with love for our Beloved Prophet s.a.w. by these beautiful words

لَقَدْ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ {128}

Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate,

 

and finally this Ayat which the Prophet recommended to recite seven times each in the morning and evening to ward off all sorts of worries and to put our hearts at ease.

فَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَقُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ {129}

But if they turn back, say: Allah is sufficient for me, there is no god but He; on Him do I rely, and He is the Lord of mighty power.

Thus ends this magnificent Surah, reminding us that there is no other being that can make anything happen without the help of Allah. So instead of relying on people our expectations should be associated only with Allah. Only for Him is our worship and only His help we seek……..

Surah Younus

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

This surah focuses our attention to Allah’s signs. And also reminds us of our meeting with our Lord on the Day of Judgment. Allah Himself is unseen but His creation is a sign of His existence and His ultimate power and authority. Those who are conscious of Allah, remember Him when they reflect upon the coming of day after night and then the bright sun going down leaving the earth in darkness:

 

إِنَّ فِي اخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَمَا خَلَقَ اللّهُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَّقُونَ {6}

Most surely in the variation of the night and the day, and what Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, there are signs for a people who guard (against evil).

 

And then there are those people who don’t believe in the Hereafter or even if they believe in it, they hardly ever think of meeting their Lord. The result is that they are more and more enveloped by the love and concerns of the life of this world, and remain unaware of Allah’s signs—both in the universe as well as in the Quran:

 

إنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءنَا وَرَضُواْ بِالْحَياةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاطْمَأَنُّواْ بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا غَافِلُونَ {7}

Surely those who do not hope in Our meeting and are pleased with this world’s life and are content with it, and those who are heedless of Our communications:

 

When someone is not even concerned with the Day of Judgment then it is quite unlikely that he will do any deeds in its preparation. Obviously such heedlessness can only result in Allah’s wrath:

أُوْلَـئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمُ النُّارُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ {8}

 (As for) those, their abode is the fire because of what they earned.

 

Isn’t it ironical that when any calamity befalls people then they suddenly turn religious and start praying, but when Allah helps them out of their troubles they forget Him and return to their normal routine?

 

وَإِذَا مَسَّ الإِنسَانَ الضُّرُّ دَعَانَا لِجَنبِهِ أَوْ قَاعِدًا أَوْ قَآئِمًا فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُ ضُرَّهُ مَرَّ كَأَن لَّمْ يَدْعُنَا إِلَى ضُرٍّ مَّسَّهُ كَذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْمُسْرِفِينَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ {12}

And when affliction touches a man, he calls on Us, whether lying on his side or sitting or standing; but when We remove his affliction from him, he passes on as though he had never called on Us on account of an affliction that touched him; thus that which they do is made fair-seeming to the extravagant.

 

Shirk; associating partners with Allah is the root of all evil. And it refers not only the worship of idols made of wood and stone but also other things which we value more than Allah………it could be our status, our businesses, our jobs, our desires……..whatever it is that stops us from the obedience of Allah…..we should analyze what it is and then think how van it more important than Allah who created us and gives us everything? Can anyone else give us life, or provide for our needs?

 

وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ مَا لاَ يَضُرُّهُمْ وَلاَ يَنفَعُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ هَـؤُلاء شُفَعَاؤُنَا عِندَ اللّهِ قُلْ أَتُنَبِّئُونَ اللّهَ بِمَا لاَ يَعْلَمُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلاَ فِي الأَرْضِ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ {18}

And they serve beside Allah what can neither harm them nor profit them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah. Say: Do you (presume to) inform Allah of what He knows not in the heavens and the earth? Glory be to Him, and supremely exalted is He above what they set up (with Him).

 

And Allah says it does Him no harm;

Our disobedience will only go against us on the Day of Judgment when we will get only what we worked for:

 

فَلَمَّا أَنجَاهُمْ إِذَا هُمْ يَبْغُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّمَا بَغْيُكُمْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُم مَّتَاعَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ إِلَينَا مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَنُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ {23}

But when He delivers them, lo! They are unjustly rebellious in the earth. O men! Your rebellion is against your own souls– provision (only) of this world’s life– then to Us shall be your return, so We will inform you of what you did.

 

The fact remains that only Allah has the right to be worshipped:

 

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاء وَالأَرْضِ أَمَّن يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ والأَبْصَارَ وَمَن يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيَّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَمَن يُدَبِّرُ الأَمْرَ فَسَيَقُولُونَ اللّهُ فَقُلْ أَفَلاَ تَتَّقُونَ {31}

Say: Who gives you sustenance from the heaven and the earth? Or Who controls the hearing and the sight? And Who brings forth the living from the dead, and brings forth the dead from the living? And Who regulates the affairs? Then they will say: Allah. Say then: Will you not then fear him?

 

Then why do people not understand. Allah says

 

وَمَا يَتَّبِعُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ إِلاَّ ظَنًّا إَنَّ الظَّنَّ لاَ يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلَيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ {36}

And most of them do not follow (anything) but conjecture; surely conjecture will not avail aught against the truth; surely Allah is cognizant of what they do.

 

but they will have to face the consequences and nothing can save them

أَلاَ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللّهِ حَقٌّ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ {55}

Now surely Allah’s is what is in the heavens and the earth; now surely Allah’s promise is true, but most of them do not know.

 

Allah gives us the good news:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاء لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ {57}

O men! there has come to you indeed an admonition from your Lord and a healing for what is in the breasts and a guidance and a mercy for the believers.

 

The Quran is our joy, so Allah says:

 

قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُواْ هُوَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ {58}

Say: In the grace of Allah and in His mercy– in that they should rejoice; it is better than that which they gather.

 

In this life most people are suffering from one out of these two emotions….either it is the regret for the past, because we can’t change it; or it is anxiety and fear of the future because we can’t see it……….Only those who have faith in Allah and believe in His love and support, know that Allah will make everything alright and their only concern is to take care of their own intentions and do everything according to the desire and command of Allah. That is why their minds are free from regrets, fears or anxieties:

 

أَلا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاء اللّهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ {62}

Now surely the friends of Allah– they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.

 

And who are these “auliyaa” ……….

 

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَكَانُواْ يَتَّقُونَ {63}

Those who believe and guarded (against evil):

 

Again the glad tidings………Islam is a religion of peace and Joy

 

لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَى فِي الْحَياةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الآخِرَةِ لاَ تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللّهِ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ {64}

They shall have good news in this world’s life and in the hereafter; there is no changing the words of Allah; that is the mighty achievement.

 

This is a very important lesson, which we all need to learn, so that we might live a successful life. Therefore Allah sent this guidance to people through all times. One after the other, He sent His Messengers who reminded people of the reality of life and death and the accountability of their deeds. Nuh (a.s) was a Prophet who preached Islam to his nation for many, many years but most of the people rejected him because they were involved in Shirk and could not accept the message of one Allah. So Allah saved His prophet and all those who had supported him, and punished all the rest:

 

فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَمَن مَّعَهُ فِي الْفُلْكِ وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ خَلاَئِفَ وَأَغْرَقْنَا الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُنذَرِينَ {73}

But they rejected him, so We delivered him and those with him in the ark, and We made them rulers and drowned those who rejected Our communications; see then what was the end of the (people) warned.

 

Next Allah reminds us how He sent Musa (a.s) and Haroun (a.s) to Pharaoh and his people:

 

ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِم مُّوسَى وَهَارُونَ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ بِآيَاتِنَا فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ وَكَانُواْ قَوْمًا مُّجْرِمِينَ {75}

Then did We send up after them Musa and Haroun to Firon and his chiefs with Our signs, but they showed pride and they were a guilty people.

 

Even after seeing all proofs, Pharaoh remained obstinate in his rejection so Allah saved the nation of “Bani Israel” from his slavery and drowned Pharaoh and his people.

The fact is that shaitan traps people’s minds and makes them totally absorbed in this world and its illusions. That is why they reject all warnings or advises from the true messengers of Allah, putting their own self in eternal loss. If they had only believed in Allah and lived under His guidance, they could have had such good lives, both in this world and the eternal abode of the hereafter. Here Allah gives the example of Younus (a.s)’s nation who accepted faith:

 

فَلَوْلاَ كَانَتْ قَرْيَةٌ آمَنَتْ فَنَفَعَهَا إِيمَانُهَا إِلاَّ قَوْمَ يُونُسَ لَمَّا آمَنُواْ كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمْ عَذَابَ الخِزْيِ فِي الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ {98}

And wherefore was there not a town which should believe so that their belief should have profited them but the people of Yunus? When they believed, We removed from them the chastisement of disgrace in this world’s life and We gave them provision till a time.

Therefore if we have faith, it is not something to be arrogant about, rather we should only concern ourselves with the responsibility attached with being a Muslim; which is to live by Allah’s commands and to bring others to this light as well. And be grateful to Allah for all the good we do because it is He who enables us to do it after all….

 

وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَن تُؤْمِنَ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَيَجْعَلُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ {100}

And it is not for a soul to believe except by Allah’s permission; and He casts uncleanness on those who will not understand.

 

At the end Allah Addresses the Prophet s.a.w. to tell the people

 

قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِن كُنتُمْ فِي شَكٍّ مِّن دِينِي فَلاَ أَعْبُدُ الَّذِينَ تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَلَـكِنْ أَعْبُدُ اللّهَ الَّذِي يَتَوَفَّاكُمْ وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ {104}

Say: O people! If you are in doubt as to my religion, then (know that) I do not serve those whom you serve besides Allah but I do serve Allah, Who will cause you to die, and I am commanded that I should be of the believers.

وَأَنْ أَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا وَلاَ تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ {105}

And that you should keep your course towards the religion uprightly; and you should not be of the polytheists.

وَلاَ تَدْعُ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ مَا لاَ يَنفَعُكَ وَلاَ يَضُرُّكَ فَإِن فَعَلْتَ فَإِنَّكَ إِذًا مِّنَ الظَّالِمِينَ {106}

And do not call besides Allah on that which can neither benefit you nor harm you, for if you do then surely you will in that case be of the unjust.

 

And finally the reminder that all that we do is for our own good and it doesn’t add or take away even an iota from Allah’s Kingdom. And so the message is clear and to the point:

قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءكُمُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَنِ اهْتَدَى فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا وَمَا أَنَاْ عَلَيْكُم بِوَكِيلٍ {108}

Say: O people! indeed there has come to you the truth from your Lord, therefore whoever goes aright, he goes aright only for the good of his own soul, and whoever goes astray, he goes astray only to the detriment of it, and I am not a custodian over you.

Surah Hud

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

As I started Surah Hud, I was reminded of a Hadith of the Prophet s.a.w. which I had heard for the first time during the Taleem-ul-Quran.  It had really made a strong impact on me:

 It is related that, once Hadrat Abu Bakr said to the Holy Prophet, “Of late I have been noticing that you are growing older and older. What is the cause of it?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Surah Hud and the like Surahs have made me old.”

If we read it attentively we can also feel the effect of its stern warning. Through the different stories of the Prophets, Allah has warned us that those people who put their faith in the outward appearance of this worldly life and rejected the Message of the Prophets met with dire consequences and that when Allah passes His judgment on the people, He does not spare anyone whatsoever, even if he be the nearest relative of the Prophet of the time. Only the Prophet and His followers are saved.

This surah invites us to Obey the Messenger of Allah; discard shirk, and worship Allah and Allah alone. If we seek forgiveness it will be for our own good:

 

أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ اللّهَ إِنَّنِي لَكُم مِّنْهُ نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ {2}

That you shall not serve (any) but Allah; surely I am a warner for you from Him and a giver of good news,

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ {3}

And you that ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn to Him; He will provide you with a goodly provision to an appointed term and bestow His grace on every one endowed with grace, and if you turn back, then surely I fear for you the chastisement of a great day.

 

Many people get trapped by the obvious glitter and glamour of the world and so Allah says

 

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لاَ يُبْخَسُونَ {15}

 Whoever desires this world’s life and its finery, We will pay them in full their deeds therein, and they shall not be made to suffer loss in respect of them.

أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ النَّارُ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُواْ فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ {16}

These are they for whom there is nothing but fire in the hereafter, and what they wrought in it shall go for nothing, and vain is what they do.

 

The point to remember is that it is not a sin to enjoy the blessings of Allah as long as we continue to remember Him and do shukr. But if we forget our duty towards Allah and the people and our sole purpose of life becomes this world then it really is a dangerous thing for our imaan and akhirah.

Now we read in the Quran about people who invent lies against Allah, but we think “Oh they must be the non-muslims” and we don’t analyse ourselves. Although the fact is that even we so called muslims say things like “Allah is not going to ask you about something as trivial as this” and we don’t realize that if Allah has sent clear truths in the Quran then who are we to invent our own theories. This is not something to take lightly because Allah is cursing them in the following Ayat.

 

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا أُوْلَـئِكَ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَى رَبِّهِمْ وَيَقُولُ الأَشْهَادُ هَـؤُلاء الَّذِينَ كَذَبُواْ عَلَى رَبِّهِمْ أَلاَ لَعْنَةُ اللّهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ {18}

And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah? These shall be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses shall say: These are they who lied against their Lord. Now surely the curse of Allah is on the unjust.

الَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَهُم بِالآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ {19}

Who turn away from the path of Allah and desire to make it crooked; and they are disbelievers in the hereafter.

 

On the other hand there are these people for whom Allah is most kind and merciful

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَخْبَتُواْ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ {23}

 Surely (as to) those who believe and do good and humble themselves to their Lord, these are the dwellers of the garden, in it they will abide.

 

Apparently these two types of people might appear to be the same but Allah says

 

مَثَلُ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ كَالأَعْمَى وَالأَصَمِّ وَالْبَصِيرِ وَالسَّمِيعِ هَلْ يَسْتَوِيَانِ مَثَلاً أَفَلاَ تَذَكَّرُونَ {24}

The likeness of the two parties is as the blind and the deaf and the seeing and the hearing: are they equal in condition? Will you not then mind?

 

And now begins the story of Prophet Nooh a.s.   

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ إِنِّي لَكُمْ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ {25}                               

And certainly We sent Nuh to his people: Surely I am a plain warner for you:

 

أَن لاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ اللّهَ إِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ أَلِيمٍ {26}

That you shall not serve any but Allah, surely I fear for you the punishment of a painful day.

 

And look at the typical response of the leaders of the nation

 

فَقَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قِوْمِهِ مَا نَرَاكَ إِلاَّ بَشَرًا مِّثْلَنَا وَمَا نَرَاكَ اتَّبَعَكَ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ هُمْ أَرَاذِلُنَا بَادِيَ الرَّأْيِ وَمَا نَرَى لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا مِن فَضْلٍ بَلْ نَظُنُّكُمْ كَاذِبِينَ {27}

But the chiefs of those who disbelieved from among his people said: We do not consider you but a mortal like ourselves, and we do not see any have followed you but those who are the meanest of us at first thought and we do not see in you any excellence over us; nay, we deem you liars.

 

Nooh a.s. preached for 950 years yet only a handful of people turned to Allah. And so Allah consoles him.

 

وَأُوحِيَ إِلَى نُوحٍ أَنَّهُ لَن يُؤْمِنَ مِن قَوْمِكَ إِلاَّ مَن قَدْ آمَنَ فَلاَ تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ {36}

And it was revealed to Nuh: That none of your people will believe except those who have already believed, therefore do not grieve at what they do:

 

and then Allah advices him to make a boat:

 

وَاصْنَعِ الْفُلْكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا وَوَحْيِنَا وَلاَ تُخَاطِبْنِي فِي الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ إِنَّهُم مُّغْرَقُونَ {37}

And make the ark before Our eyes and (according to) Our revelation, and do not speak to Me in respect of those who are unjust; surely they shall be drowned.

 

 

When the great torment from Allah arrived in the form of a flood, Nooh a.s. and his followers were told to climb the boat. He called to his disbelieving son in vain

 

وَهِيَ تَجْرِي بِهِمْ فِي مَوْجٍ كَالْجِبَالِ وَنَادَى نُوحٌ ابْنَهُ وَكَانَ فِي مَعْزِلٍ يَا بُنَيَّ ارْكَب مَّعَنَا وَلاَ تَكُن مَّعَ الْكَافِرِينَ {42}

And it moved on with them amid waves like mountains; and Nuh called out to his son, and he was aloof: O my son! embark with us and be not with the unbelievers.

 

But he stubbornly replied :

 

قَالَ سَآوِي إِلَى جَبَلٍ يَعْصِمُنِي مِنَ الْمَاء

He said: I will betake myself for refuge to a mountain that shall protect me from the water.

 

To which Nooh a.s. told him

قَالَ لاَ عَاصِمَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللّهِ إِلاَّ مَن رَّحِمَ                                        

Nuh said: There is no protector today from Allah’s punishment but He Who has mercy;

 

and finally he met his punishment

وَحَالَ بَيْنَهُمَا الْمَوْجُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُغْرَقِينَ                                         

and a wave intervened between them, so he was of the drowned.

 

Next is the story of Prophet Hud (a.s.)  who was sent to the people of Aad, again with the same message of Tauheed,

 

وَإِلَى عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُودًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ مُفْتَرُونَ {50}

And to Ad (We sent) their brother Hud. He said: O my people! serve Allah, you have no god other than He; you are nothing but forgers (of lies).

 

And He teaches them of the blessings of seeking forgiveness of Allah,

 

وَيَا قَوْمِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَى قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلاَ تَتَوَلَّوْاْ مُجْرِمِينَ {52}

And, O my people! ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn to Him; He will send on you clouds pouring down abundance of rain and add strength to your strength, and do not turn back guilty.

but sadly they rejected him

 

قَالُواْ يَا هُودُ مَا جِئْتَنَا بِبَيِّنَةٍ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَارِكِي آلِهَتِنَا عَن قَوْلِكَ وَمَا نَحْنُ لَكَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ {53}

 They said: O Hud! you have not brought to us any clear argument and we are not going to desert our gods for your word, and we are not believers in you:

 

And so they met their punishment

 

وَلَمَّا جَاء أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا هُودًا وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنَّا وَنَجَّيْنَاهُم مِّنْ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ {58}

 And when Our decree came to pass, We delivered Hud and those who believed with him with mercy from Us, and We delivered them from a hard chastisement.

 

وَأُتْبِعُواْ فِي هَـذِهِ الدُّنْيَا لَعْنَةً وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَلا إِنَّ عَادًا كَفَرُواْ رَبَّهُمْ أَلاَ بُعْدًا لِّعَادٍ قَوْمِ هُودٍ {60}

And they were overtaken by curse in this world and on the resurrection day; now surely Ad disbelieved in their Lord; now surely, away with Ad, the people of Hud.

 

Allah then tells us about Prophet Saleh a.s. and the people of Samood

 

وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ هُوَ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الأَرْضِ وَاسْتَعْمَرَكُمْ فِيهَا فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ رَبِّي قَرِيبٌ مُّجِيبٌ {61}

And to Samood (We sent) their brother Salih. He said: O my people! serve Allah, you have no god other than He; He brought you into being from the earth, and made you dwell in it, therefore ask forgiveness of Him, then turn to Him; surely my Lord is Nigh, Answering.

 

They continued to disbelieve him upon which Allah says

 

فَلَمَّا جَاء أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا صَالِحًا وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنَّا وَمِنْ خِزْيِ يَوْمِئِذٍ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ الْقَوِيُّ الْعَزِيزُ {66}

So when Our decree came to pass, We delivered Salih and those who believed with him by mercy from Us, and (We saved them) from the disgrace of that day; surely your Lord is the Strong, the Mighty.

وَأَخَذَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ الصَّيْحَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دِيَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ {67}

And the rumbling overtook those who were unjust, so they became motionless bodies in their abodes,

كَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْاْ فِيهَا أَلاَ إِنَّ ثَمُودَ كَفرُواْ رَبَّهُمْ أَلاَ بُعْدًا لِّثَمُودَ {68}

As though they had never dwelt in them; now surely did Samood disbelieve in their Lord; now surely, away with Samood.

 

After this Allah mentions the event in which the angels descended on Ibrahim a.s to give him the good news of a son. His wife exclaimed:

 

قَالَتْ يَا وَيْلَتَى أَأَلِدُ وَأَنَاْ عَجُوزٌ وَهَـذَا بَعْلِي شَيْخًا إِنَّ هَـذَا لَشَيْءٌ عَجِيبٌ {72}

She said: O wonder! shall I bear a son when I am an extremely old woman and this my husband an extremely old man? Most surely this is a wonderful thing.

 

 and the angels replied:

 

قَالُواْ أَتَعْجَبِينَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللّهِ رَحْمَتُ اللّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ إِنَّهُ حَمِيدٌ مَّجِيدٌ {73}

They said: Do you wonder at Allah’s bidding? The mercy of Allah and His blessings are on you, O people of the house, surely He is Praised, Glorious.

 

And then the angels came to the Prophet Lut (a.s.) His nation was involved in all sorts of crimes ranging from highway robbery to homosexuality. And He was helpless in trying to stop them from their evil ways. Moreover His wife was also not sincere to His cause and used to mingle with the wrong doers. Therefore when Lut (a.s.) saw the angels He was apprehensive:

 

وَلَمَّا جَاءتْ رُسُلُنَا لُوطًا سِيءَ بِهِمْ وَضَاقَ بِهِمْ ذَرْعًا وَقَالَ هَـذَا يَوْمٌ عَصِيبٌ {77}

 And when Our messengers came to Lut, he was grieved for them, and he lacked strength to protect them, and said: This is a hard day.

 

The angels reassured Him :

 

قَالُواْ يَا لُوطُ إِنَّا رُسُلُ رَبِّكَ لَن يَصِلُواْ إِلَيْكَ فَأَسْرِ بِأَهْلِكَ بِقِطْعٍ مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ وَلاَ يَلْتَفِتْ مِنكُمْ أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ امْرَأَتَكَ إِنَّهُ مُصِيبُهَا مَا أَصَابَهُمْ إِنَّ مَوْعِدَهُمُ الصُّبْحُ أَلَيْسَ الصُّبْحُ بِقَرِيبٍ {81}

They said: O Lut! we are the messengers of your Lord; they shall by no means reach you; so remove your followers in a part of the night– and let none of you turn back– except your wife, for surely whatsoever befalls them shall befall her; surely their appointed time is the morning; is not the morning nigh?

 

And then they received the  wrath of Allah:

 

فَلَمَّا جَاء أَمْرُنَا جَعَلْنَا عَالِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهَا حِجَارَةً مِّن سِجِّيلٍ مَّنضُودٍ {82}

So when Our decree came to pass, We turned them upside down and rained down upon them stones, of what had been decreed, one after another.

مُّسَوَّمَةً عِندَ رَبِّكَ وَمَا هِيَ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ بِبَعِيدٍ {83}

Marked (for punishment) with your Lord and it is not far off from the unjust.

 

Next is the story of Shuaib (a.s.) who calls the people of Madiyan to the worship of Allah:

 

وَإِلَى مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْبًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ وَلاَ تَنقُصُواْ الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ إِنِّيَ أَرَاكُم بِخَيْرٍ وَإِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ مُّحِيطٍ {84}

And to Madyan (We sent) their brother Shu’aib. He said: O my people! serve Allah, you have no god other than He, and do not give short measure and weight: surely I see you in prosperity and surely I fear for you the punishment of an all-encompassing day.

وَيَا قَوْمِ أَوْفُواْ الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ تَبْخَسُواْ النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءهُمْ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْاْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ {85}

And, O my people! give full measure and weight fairly, and defraud not men their things, and do not act corruptly in the land, making mischief:

 

When they denied His teachings , he warned them:

 

وَيَا قَوْمِ لاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شِقَاقِي أَن يُصِيبَكُم مِّثْلُ مَا أَصَابَ قَوْمَ نُوحٍ أَوْ قَوْمَ هُودٍ أَوْ قَوْمَ صَالِحٍ وَمَا قَوْمُ لُوطٍ مِّنكُم بِبَعِيدٍ {89}

And, O my people! let not opposition to me make you guilty so that there may befall you the like of what befell the people of Nuh, or the people of Hud, or the people of Salih, nor are the people of Lut far off from you;

وَاسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ رَبِّي رَحِيمٌ وَدُودٌ {90}

And ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn to Him; surely my Lord is Merciful, Loving-kind.

 

They were heedless of everything, and so faced the destruction:

 

وَلَمَّا جَاء أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا شُعَيْبًا وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مَّنَّا وَأَخَذَتِ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ الصَّيْحَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دِيَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ {94}

And when Our decree came to pass We delivered Shu’aib, and those who believed with him by mercy from Us, and the rumbling overtook those who were unjust so they became motionless bodies in their abodes,

كَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْاْ فِيهَا أَلاَ بُعْدًا لِّمَدْيَنَ كَمَا بَعِدَتْ ثَمُودُ {95}

As though they had never dwelt in them; now surely perdition overtook Madyan as had perished Samood.

 

And then Allah sent Musa a.s. to Firoun, but Allah says :

 

……….وَمَا أَمْرُ فِرْعَوْنَ بِرَشِيدٍ {97}

…………and Firon’s bidding was not right-directing.

يَقْدُمُ قَوْمَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَأَوْرَدَهُمُ النَّارَ وَبِئْسَ الْوِرْدُ الْمَوْرُودُ {98}

He shall lead his people on the resurrection day, and bring them down to the fire; and evil the place to which they are brought.

 

At the end Allah says that these people brought the punishments on themselves:

 

وَمَا ظَلَمْنَاهُمْ وَلَـكِن ظَلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ فَمَا أَغْنَتْ عَنْهُمْ آلِهَتُهُمُ الَّتِي يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ لِّمَّا جَاء أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ وَمَا زَادُوهُمْ غَيْرَ تَتْبِيبٍ {101}

And We did not do them injustice, but they were unjust to themselves, so their gods whom they called upon besides Allah did not avail them aught when the decree of your Lord came to pass; and they added but to their ruin.

وَكَذَلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَى وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ إِنَّ أَخْذَهُ أَلِيمٌ شَدِيدٌ {102}

And such is the punishment of your Lord when He punishes the towns while they are unjust; surely His punishment is painful, severe

 

And the purpose of relating all these incidents is to warn us of the day of judgement:

 

إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِّمَنْ خَافَ عَذَابَ الآخِرَةِ ذَلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّجْمُوعٌ لَّهُ النَّاسُ وَذَلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّشْهُودٌ {103}

Most surely there is a sign in this for him who fears the chastisement of the hereafter; this is a day on which the people shall be gathered together and this is a day that shall be witnessed.

 

on that day there would be two kinds of people:

 

يَوْمَ يَأْتِ لاَ تَكَلَّمُ نَفْسٌ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ فَمِنْهُمْ شَقِيٌّ وَسَعِيدٌ {105}

On the day when it shall come, no soul shall speak except with His permission, then (some) of them shall be unhappy and (others) happy.

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ شَقُواْ فَفِي النَّارِ لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَشَهِيقٌ {106}

So as to those who are unhappy, they shall be in the fire; for them shall be sighing and groaning in it:

 

وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ سُعِدُواْ فَفِي الْجَنَّةِ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا مَا دَامَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ إِلاَّ مَا شَاء رَبُّكَ عَطَاء غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ {108}

 And as to those who are made happy, they shall be in the garden, abiding in it as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord please; a gift which shall never be cut off.

 

The Surah ends with this powerful Ayat:

 

وَلِلّهِ غَيْبُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُ الأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ فَاعْبُدْهُ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَيْهِ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ {123}

And Allah’s is the unseen in the heavens and the earth, and to Him is returned the whole of the affair; therefore serve Him and rely on Him, and your Lord is not heedless of what you do.

Surah Yousuf

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

It was such a beautiful experience going through Surah Yousuf in one stretch. Previously when I had studied it in Taleem-ul-Quran , we use to concentrate and understand it in short sections. So that the subtle details would come out and dazzle me with their brilliance. And as it was totally new to me, I just couldn’t see it as a whole and didn’t know what it would be like. Today however as I went from one ayah to the next , it made me feel as if I was actually there and saw it all with my own eyes. I had never imagined that such literary beauty could exist in a religious book. I am simply mesmerized and I just hope and Pray to Allah that I might convey at least some of its splendor to the readers going through this review. Although I know that the flavor of the Arabic language can never be reproduced, because it has the capacity to have an irresistible influence over one’s mind.

 Many people complain about this that why do we read Salat in Arabic, or why is the Quran in Arabic, and how are we supposed to understand it ? The answer is simple: learn it…..!!

But how? The answer………….just as you learned English or like nowadays when many schools even in Pakistan are experimenting with French courses. We take out time in our lives and learn all that we consider important, don’t we? Did our parents know how to use a computer or a mobile phone etc? We learned it didn’t we ? I wonder why aren’t we curious to know the language which the Lord of the entire universe chose for His speech. Allah subhaanahu wa taala says:

 

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ {2}

Surely We have revealed it– an Arabic Quran– that you may understand.

 

And then Allah comes straight to the point and introduces the amazing story of the Prophet Yousuf (a.s)

 

نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ بِمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ هَـذَا الْقُرْآنَ وَإِن كُنتَ مِن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ {3}

We narrate to you the best of narratives, by Our revealing to you this Quran, though before this you were certainly one of those who did not know.

 

  It is the most detailed of any story in the Quran and is full of description of vicissitudes of human life, and therefore deservedly appeals to men and women of all classes. It paints in vivid colours, with their spiritual implications, the most varied aspects of life-Yaqub’s old age and the confidence between him and his little beloved son, the elder brothers’ jealousy, their plot, Yaqub’s grief, the sale of Yusuf into slavery for a petty price, carnal love contrasted with purity and patience and fortitude, chastity, false charges, prison, the divine gift of interpretation of the dreams, evil life and spiritual life, innocence raised to honour, forgiveness and benevolence, matters of administration, humility in glory, filial love, and the ultimate triumph of piety and truth.

   It starts with Yousuf , at the age of about 12 or 13 telling his father Prophet Yaqub (a.s.) about a dream that he saw:

 

إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لِأَبِيهِ يَا أَبتِ إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِي سَاجِدِينَ {4}

When Yusuf said to his father: O my father! surely I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon– I saw them prostrating themselves to me.

 

Yaqub (a.s) at once understood that it was a sign of Yousuf’s prohethood and so he warned  him not to tell about this dream to his brothers because they envied him and might harm him out of hatred and jealousy.

Now the brothers of Yusuf proposed to kill him so that the favour of their father might be given to them alone, but one of them suggested to throw him in a well, in which case some travellers passing by would pick him up and remove him to a far country and they would be free from the charge of murder.

اقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ أَوِ اطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضًا يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُمْ وَتَكُونُواْ مِن بَعْدِهِ قَوْمًا صَالِحِينَ {9}

Slay Yusuf or cast him (forth) into some land, so that your father’s regard may be exclusively for you, and after that you may be a righteous people.

 

Jealousy is such a harmful and destructive emotion that in Surah al-Falaq (113) we are told to seek refuge of Allah from the evil effects of the jealous person.

The plot having been formed, they approached their father to let Yusuf go with them to play and enjoy. Yaqub had strong misgivings and apprehension. He told them that while they were attending to their own affairs a wolf might devour him. In the end they prevailed upon him and took Yusuf with them, and threw him into a well. Allah was with Yusuf in his sufferings and sorrows and reassured him that one day they would stand before him, seeking his help, not knowing that he was their betrayed brother. They stained Yusuf’s shirt with the blood of a goat and showed it to their father to convince him that while they were playing a wolf had devoured Yusuf who was guarding their things. Yaqub did not believe them. But said:

 

وَجَآؤُوا عَلَى قَمِيصِهِ بِدَمٍ كَذِبٍ قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ وَاللّهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَى مَا تَصِفُونَ {18}

And they brought his shirt with false blood upon it. He said: Nay, your souls have made the matter light for you, but patience is good and Allah is He Whose help is sought for against what you describe.

 

And this is the main theme of this story “SABRUN JAMEEL” which means to be patient without complaining.

A caravan of merchants pulled Yusuf up with a bucket which was let down to bring water from the well. For the merchants Yusuf was an item of merchandise. The shrewd merchants sold Yusuf for the paltry sum of a few dirhams. In Egypt, a high court official purchased him when he was put for sale in a public auction. He took him to his house and instructed his wife to make his stay honourable so that they might adopt him as a son. Now we might see it as a misfortune that a beloved son of a prophet should be sold off like this and removed from his home and family especially his father. But Allah says :

 

وَقَالَ الَّذِي اشْتَرَاهُ مِن مِّصْرَ لاِمْرَأَتِهِ أَكْرِمِي مَثْوَاهُ عَسَى أَن يَنفَعَنَا أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا وَكَذَلِكَ مَكَّنِّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلِنُعَلِّمَهُ مِن تَأْوِيلِ الأَحَادِيثِ وَاللّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَى أَمْرِهِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ {21}

And the Egyptian who bought him said to his wife: Give him an honorable abode, maybe he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son. And thus did We establish Yusuf in the land and that We might teach him the interpretation of sayings; and Allah is the master of His affair, but most people do not know.

 

which means that it was Allah’s special plan for him to be put in such a situation.

 

وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ {22}

And when he had attained his maturity, We gave him wisdom and knowledge: and thus do We reward those who do good.

 

But now he faced another trial………the wife of the high official,  Zulaykha, tried to seduce him.

 

وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَغَلَّقَتِ الأَبْوَابَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ……..

And she, in whose house he was,  sought to make himself yield (to her), and she made fast the doors and said: Come forward…………

 

look at yousuf’s response, full of Allah’s Taqwa,

قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللّهِ إِنَّهُ رَبِّي أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ {23}

He said: I seek Allah’s refuge, surely my Lord made good my abode: Surely the unjust do not prosper.

 

And then he runs away from her and she follows grabbing and thus tearing his shirt from behind………at the door they found the master of the house;

 

وَاسُتَبَقَا الْبَابَ وَقَدَّتْ قَمِيصَهُ مِن دُبُرٍ وَأَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَى الْبَابِ قَالَتْ مَا جَزَاء مَنْ أَرَادَ بِأَهْلِكَ سُوَءًا إِلاَّ أَن يُسْجَنَ أَوْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ {25}

And they both hastened to the door, and she rent his shirt from behind and they met her husband at the door. She said: What is the punishment of him who intends evil to your wife except imprisonment or a painful chastisement?

 

Yousuf tells him the truth that it was she herself who had tried to seduce him. A witness from her family testified. Yusuf’s shirt was torn at the back, he must obviously have been retreating and Zulaykha must have been tugging from behind.

The master is obviously embarrassed to realize what his wife had been up to. So he says:

 

فَلَمَّا رَأَى قَمِيصَهُ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍ قَالَ إِنَّهُ مِن كَيْدِكُنَّ إِنَّ كَيْدَكُنَّ عَظِيمٌ {28}

 So when he saw his shirt rent from behind, he said: Surely it is a guile of you women; surely your guile is great:

يُوسُفُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَـذَا وَاسْتَغْفِرِي لِذَنبِكِ إِنَّكِ كُنتِ مِنَ الْخَاطِئِينَ {29}

O Yusuf! turn aside from this; and (O my wife)! ask forgiveness for your fault, surely you are one of the wrong-doers.

 

In the city the women gossiped about Zulaikha and when she heard their slanderings, she invited them to a sumptuous feast and gave each of them a knife and called Yusuf to come out before them. When they saw him, the women were so wonderstruck with his beauty that they cut their hands.

The Quran records their spontaneous reaction :

فَلَمَّا رَأَيْنَهُ أَكْبَرْنَهُ وَقَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ وَقُلْنَ حَاشَ لِلّهِ مَا هَـذَا بَشَرًا إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ مَلَكٌ كَرِيمٌ {31}

So when they saw him, they deemed him great, and cut their hands (in amazement), and said: Remote is Allah (from imperfection); this is not a mortal; this is but a noble angel.

 

The women all agreed that no man had a right to resist their solicitations, so Zulaykha, in her tragic guilt, threatened Yusuf with imprisonment and disgrace. Yet, inspite of having seen the clear proofs of his innocence, the men, as a political move, sent him to prison for a time, until the scandalous gossip of the town regarding the high official’s wife had ceased.

 

Now just look at the patience and complete surrender to Allah , in Yousuf’s following words

 

قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ وَإِلاَّ تَصْرِفْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ {33}

He said: My Lord! the prison house is dearer to me than that to which they invite me; and if Thou turn not away their device from me, I will yearn towards them and become (one) of the ignorant.

 

And Allah says:

 

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ فَصَرَفَ عَنْهُ كَيْدَهُنَّ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ {34}

Thereupon his Lord accepted his prayer and turned away their guile from him; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

 

There came into the prison two young men with him. They were employed in the King’s court. One was a cup-bearer and the other was a cook. They were both in disgrace. The former dreamed that he was pressing grapes, the latter that he was carrying bread, but the birds ate of it. They saw in Yusuf such a goodness of character that they told him their dreams and asked him to interpret them. Yousuf (a.s.) says:

 

قَالَ لاَ يَأْتِيكُمَا طَعَامٌ تُرْزَقَانِهِ إِلاَّ نَبَّأْتُكُمَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَأْتِيكُمَا ذَلِكُمَا مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِي رَبِّي إِنِّي تَرَكْتُ مِلَّةَ قَوْمٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَهُم بِالآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ {37}

He said: There shall not come to you the food with which you are fed, but I will inform you both of its interpretation before it comes to you; this is of what my Lord has taught me; surely I have forsaken the religion of a people who do not believe in Allah, and they are deniers of the hereafter:

وَاتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ آبَآئِـي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ مَا كَانَ لَنَا أَن نُّشْرِكَ بِاللّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ذَلِكَ مِن فَضْلِ اللّهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَشْكُرُونَ {38}

And I follow the religion of my fathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq and Yaqoub; it beseems us not that we should associate aught with Allah; this is by Allah’s grace upon us and on mankind, but most people do not give thanks:

يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ {39}

O my two mates of the prison! are sundry lords better or Allah the One, the Supreme?

 

This is such a good example for us if we want to spread the message of Allah to the world in an effective way. There are several points to be noted here.

1- Yousuf (a.s.) has won the hearts of these people through his genuine goodness. We forget that the most powerful “tableegh” is not through lectures but through the personality itself. You can show people how wonderful your religion is by following it !!

2- Yousuf (a.s.) does give them a speech , but only when their attention is focused. They are prepared to listen to him. I have seen people talking about religion and others simply sitting there fidgeting and being uncomfortable, waiting for the sermon to end ………..what good is it doing to Islam when you drive people away from it ??

3- Now he doesn’t “cash” upon the opportunity to speak, that okay now I have them so lets make the most of it and go on and on endlessly. No……..just the basic facts and that’s it.

Basically what differentiates His methodology from ours is that while we are mostly projecting our own piety and self image……..he was free from any such complex and only wanted to convey the truth. And also because he had been disciplined, through all the hardships that he had endured, with patience and fortitude.

Then Yusuf told them, the interpretation of their dreams, that the cup-bearer would again serve wine to the king, while the cook will be crucified and the birds would peck at his brain. He asked the cup-bearer to mention him to his master, but Shaytan made him forget to do so, and Yusuf remained in prison for a few more years. One day the king told his courtiers that he saw in a dream seven fat cows being devoured by seven lean ones, and seven green ears of corns and seven others that were withered. None of the courtiers knew how to interpret dreams. The cup-bearer told the king that he would give him its interpretation and went to see Yusuf in prison, to ask him about it.

Yousuf told him that there would be seven years of abundant harvest. Of them they should take a little for their sustenance and store the rest in the ears. There would follow seven years of dreadful famine which will consume all the stores which were saved in the good years. That would be followed by a year of rain in which people would press wine and oil.

The king sent a messenger to bring Yusuf. Yusuf told the messenger that his innocence was well-established before Allah, but before he came out of the prison there should be a public inquiry. Then the king sent for the ladies concerned. Among them came Zulaykha. The king demanded the whole truth. Zulaykha confessed that it was she who attempted to seduce Yusuf but undoubtedly he was a truthful man of virtue.

The king was much impressed, and appointed Yusuf as his confidential wazir. Yusuf wanted to do real service to the people. He undertook the hardest task of organising reserves in times of plenty, against the lean years to come. He was put incharge of the granaries and store-houses.

Now in these words Allah explains to us the virtue of “muhsineen” people who do everything with excellence…….

 

وَكَذَلِكَ مَكَّنِّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الأَرْضِ يَتَبَوَّأُ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ يَشَاء نُصِيبُ بِرَحْمَتِنَا مَن نَّشَاء وَلاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ {56}

 And thus did We give to Yusuf power in the land– he had mastery in it wherever he liked; We send down Our mercy on whom We please, and We do not waste the reward of those who do good.

وَلَأَجْرُ الآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَكَانُواْ يَتَّقُونَ {57}

 And certainly the reward of the hereafter is much better for those who believe and guard (against evil).

 There was a wide spread famine in all of Arabia, Northern Africa, Syria, Iraq and Palestine. On account of Yusuf’s foresight and his able administration, bread was available in Egypt only. So the brothers of Yusuf also came to Egypt and called on him. He recognised them, though they did not recognise him. He treated them liberally. The ten brothers had come. Yusuf asked them to bring their brother, Benyamin, so that they would get his share too.

The brothers brought benyamin along the next time and  Yusuf was delighted to see, his own brother. After taking the provisions, when they were departing Yusuf asked a steward to put his own drinking silver cup in Benyamin’s saddle-bag; and then it was announced that Yusuf’ s silver cup had been stolen. As they were about to leave a steward stopped them and searched their bags, and found the silver cup in Benyamin’s bag. So he was detained.

One brother stayed there, and the others went back to Yaqub and told him what had happened. Yaqub was greatly disturbed. His eyes became blind with sorrow and he fell into silent melancholy. He sent his sons back to bring benyamin.They returned to Yusuf, offered him what little they had and begged for his favour. Yusuf could no longer hold himself. He said:

قَالُواْ أَإِنَّكَ لَأَنتَ يُوسُفُ قَالَ أَنَاْ يُوسُفُ وَهَـذَا أَخِي قَدْ مَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّهُ مَن يَتَّقِ وَيِصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ {90}

They said: Are you indeed Yusuf? He said: I am Yusuf and this is my brother; Allah has indeed been gracious to us; surely he who guards (against evil) and is patient (is rewarded) for surely Allah does not waste the reward of those who do good.

Now they confessed to him:

 

قَالُواْ تَاللّهِ لَقَدْ آثَرَكَ اللّهُ عَلَيْنَا وَإِن كُنَّا لَخَاطِئِينَ {91}

They said: By Allah! now has Allah certainly chosen you over us, and we were certainly sinners.

But he forgives them and prays for them.

قَالَ لاَ تَثْرَيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ يَغْفِرُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ {92}

He said: (There shall be) no reproof against you this day; Allah may forgive you, and He is the most Merciful of the merciful.

 He gave them his shirt and asked them to put it on his father’s face to restore his eyesight, and then to bring the whole family to him. When they went back to Yusuf, he gave his father and mother a place of honour, and seated them by his side on the throne;

 

وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ وَخَرُّواْ لَهُ سُجَّدًا وَقَالَ يَا أَبَتِ هَـذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَايَ مِن قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّي حَقًّا وَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ بَي إِذْ أَخْرَجَنِي مِنَ السِّجْنِ وَجَاء بِكُم مِّنَ الْبَدْوِ مِن بَعْدِ أَن نَّزغَ الشَّيْطَانُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ إِخْوَتِي إِنَّ رَبِّي لَطِيفٌ لِّمَا يَشَاء إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ {100}

And he raised his parents upon the throne and they fell down in prostration before him, and he said: O my father! this is the significance of my vision of old; my Lord has indeed made it to be true; and He was indeed kind to me when He brought me forth from the prison and brought you from the desert after the Shaitan had sown dissensions between me and my brothers, surely my Lord is benignant to whom He pleases; surely He is the Knowing, the Wise.

These words filled me with awe and admiration for this extraordinary person who at such a time of personal success and honour , remembers His Lord with love and gratitude . And the following prayer is simply magnificent, in which he calls Allah :

 

رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِي مِنَ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِي مِن تَأْوِيلِ الأَحَادِيثِ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَنتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنُيَا وَالآخِرَةِ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ {101}

My Lord! Thou hast given me of the kingdom and taught me of the interpretation of sayings: Originator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my guardian in this world and the hereafter; make me die a muslim and join me with the good.

And so the story ends. But remember that its not just a tale ……….rather it’s a great lesson for us to see how in our life we are faced with trials and we think its so unfair; Whereas it’s actually a test from Allah to make us strong and to prove our sincerity and commitment to Him. Whosoever does sabar and keeps working towards attaining Allah’s pleasure, is rewarded manifold, both in this world and the next. As Allah himself says in this last ayat :

لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِّأُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَى وَلَـكِن تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ {111}

Indeed in these stories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding. It is not a narrative which could be forged, but a verification of what is before it and a distinct explanation of all things and a guide and a mercy to a people who believe.

Surah Ar-Ra’d

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

There was a time when I used to wonder why Quran is called a miracle. After all it is only a book so what’s so miraculous about it ? It was only after understanding it in detail, did I get to know what it really is. I realized that its miracle lies in the fact that it has got an infinite potential of extraordinary effects on individual and collective characters and lives of people. One of those miraculous effects is that no matter how many times you read the same Ayat, it acquires a new shape and a new angle of reflection every time you ponder over it so that your thirst of getting the true meaning of the words is never completely satiated. It keeps you hooked to it so much that you wake up with its thoughts and you sleep with it and yet you can never have enough. But if you never get yourself acquainted with it, then it can keep lying quietly on that shelf for years and years and as you live your life in the same house , passing by it numerous times a day, you remain totally oblivious to the fact that such a powerful miracle lies within your reach…………… so near, yet so far !! It gives itself only to those who seek it. Allah doesn’t thrust it upon anyone. Its price is desire, its price is love and devotion………

  That is why we see that Allah has often driven our attention to it in the Quran. There are several ayaat which introduce to us the Quran as being “haq” which means “THE TRUTH”. The reason for this repeated reassurance from Allah is that we as human beings cannot really benefit ourselves with something until and unless we are sure of its goodness. Even a glass of the best juice loses its appeal if we have doubt about its freshness. It will upset our enjoyment even if it doesn’t upset our stomach !! Therefore Allah removes all such doubts so that we might truly enjoy and subsequently enrich our lives with the light of Quran. So in the very first Ayat of Surah Ar-Ra’ad, Allah tells us:


المر تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ وَالَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ
الْحَقُّ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ {1}

Alif Lam Mim Ra. These are the verses of the Book; and that which is revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, but most people do not believe.

What a sad reality it is that having this book so easy within reach, most people don’t believe in it or its importance in our life. Maybe they don’t even realize who Allah is………so the next Ayat tells us:

 

اللّهُ الَّذِي رَفَعَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى يُدَبِّرُ الأَمْرَ يُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُم بِلِقَاء رَبِّكُمْ تُوقِنُونَ {2}

Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you see, and He is firm in power and He made the sun and the moon subservient (to you); each one pursues its course to an appointed time; He regulates the affair, making clear the signs that you may be certain of meeting your Lord.

 

It means that for us to really have a conviction of meeting with our Lord we need to have an in-depth study of the Quran. Islam is a religion of logic and makes it a part of our education to reflect upon the glory of the universe around us. Just reading a tasbeeh in the corner of the room is not all. Allah says, look at the environment around you……… I have created signs of truth in it for people who contemplate:

 

وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَدَّ الأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنْهَارًا وَمِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ جَعَلَ فِيهَا زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ {3}

And He it is Who spread the earth and made in it firm mountains and rivers, and of all fruits He has made in it two kinds; He makes the night cover the day; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.

 

And also for those who use their intellect :

 

وَفِي الأَرْضِ قِطَعٌ مُّتَجَاوِرَاتٌ وَجَنَّاتٌ مِّنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَزَرْعٌ وَنَخِيلٌ صِنْوَانٌ وَغَيْرُ صِنْوَانٍ يُسْقَى بِمَاء وَاحِدٍ وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِي الأُكُلِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ {4}

And in the earth there are tracts side by side and gardens of grapes and corn and palm trees having one root and (others) having distinct roots– they are watered with one water, and We make some of them excel others in fruit; most surely there are signs in this for a people who understand.

 

So what is Islam then ? Using your intellect to get closer to Allah. Not just a mindless repetition of words and actions but getting to the true spirit of things. Allah has given us this amazing power of thinking and reasoning but we use only a part of it and that too for petty things and so for the majority of people, this intellect gets eroded by the rust of ignorance.

Next we come to a very important Ayat which describes, in a simple and straightforward example, the absurdity of asking favours from anyone other than Allah. Look at the beauty of its simplicity

 

لَهُ دَعْوَةُ الْحَقِّ وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُونَ لَهُم بِشَيْءٍ إِلاَّ كَبَاسِطِ كَفَّيْهِ إِلَى الْمَاء لِيَبْلُغَ فَاهُ وَمَا هُوَ بِبَالِغِهِ وَمَا دُعَاء الْكَافِرِينَ إِلاَّ فِي ضَلاَلٍ {14}

To Him is due the true prayer; and those whom they pray to besides Allah give them no answer, but (they are) like one who stretches forth his two hands towards water that it may reach his mouth, but it will not reach it; and the prayer of the unbelievers is only in error.

 

If we see anyone trying to collect water with palms spread out……..what would be our reaction………..”Are you crazy? Don’t you know this will never get you anything !”  But when we see people bowing their heads in front of people dead or alive then we don’t have any objection. Go and visit any Mazaar and see what our religion has been reduced to………. May Allah guide us out of our ignorance before it’s too late.

Allah warns us :

 

لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُواْ لِرَبِّهِمُ الْحُسْنَى وَالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُواْ لَهُ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُم مَّا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لاَفْتَدَوْاْ بِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ سُوءُ الْحِسَابِ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَبِئْسَ الْمِهَادُ {18}

 For those who respond to their Lord is good; and (as for) those who do not respond to Him, had they all that is in the earth and the like thereof with it they would certainly offer it for a ransom. (As for) those, an evil reckoning shall be theirs and their abode is hell, and evil is the resting-place.

 

Next Allah tells us that the person who believes in the truth of the Quran is not like the one who ignores it:

 

أَفَمَن يَعْلَمُ أَنَّمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَبِّكَ الْحَقُّ كَمَنْ هُوَ أَعْمَى إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوْلُواْ الأَلْبَابِ {19}

Is he then who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth like him who is blind? Only those possessed of understanding will mind,

 

Now who are the wise ones? All of us like to think of ourselves as very intellectual and wise, but lets take a good look in the mirror of Quran and see our true picture ………….. Is it the same as the bloated self image we nourish in our hearts?

1) الَّذِينَ يُوفُونَ بِعَهْدِ اللّهِ وَلاَ يِنقُضُونَ الْمِيثَاقَ

Those who fulfil the promise of Allah and do not break the covenant,

2) وَالَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ مَا أَمَرَ اللّهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ

And those who join that which Allah has bidden to be joined (mutual relationships)

3) وَيَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ

and have awe of their Lord

4) وَيَخَافُونَ سُوءَ الحِسَابِ

and fear the evil reckoning.

5) وَالَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ ابْتِغَاء وَجْهِ رَبِّهِمْ

And those who are constant, seeking the pleasure of their Lord,

6) وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ

and keep up prayer

7) وَأَنفَقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلاَنِيَةً

and spend (benevolently) out of what We have given them secretly and openly

8 )   وَيَدْرَؤُونَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ السَّيِّئَةَ

and repel evil with good;

 

And what is the reward for such wonderful people ?

     أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ                                                   

as for those, they shall have the good end.

 

جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا وَمَنْ صَلَحَ مِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ وَالمَلاَئِكَةُ يَدْخُلُونَ عَلَيْهِم مِّن كُلِّ بَابٍ {23}

The gardens of perpetual abode which they will enter along with those who do good from among their parents and their spouses and their offspring; and the angels will enter in upon them from every gate:

سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُم بِمَا صَبَرْتُمْ فَنِعْمَ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ {24}

(the angels will say) Peace be on you because you were constant, how excellent, is then, the good end.

       

In our society if you try and convince people to change their lifestyle according to Islam, one pet excuse is that Allah gives hidayat to his chosen people. So when we also get that Hidayat then we will also start obeying Allah. This excuse has been totally rejected in this Ayat, where Allah says:

 

وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْلاَ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ قُلْ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَاء وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ أَنَابَ {27}

And those who disbelieve say: Why is not a sign sent down upon him by his Lord? Say: Surely Allah makes him who will go astray, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ {28}

Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest.

 

It means that Allah gives guidance to those who seek it, who want it. They are the ones who believe and find peace in Allah’s remembrance. Their heart’s delight is in Allah’s Zikr, whether it is quiet contemplation, or talking to Allah , or reading salat and Quran or talking to others about Allah. These are the ones who are guided by Allah to peace and success in both the worlds:

 

الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ طُوبَى لَهُمْ وَحُسْنُ مَآبٍ {29}

 (As for) those who believe and do good, a good final state shall be theirs and a goodly return.

 

Towards the end of the surah Allah again reminds us that we should be constantly on guard against the negative desires of people who want us to join them in their life style because it will lead us away from the favour and support of Allah:

 

وَكَذَلِكَ أَنزَلْنَاهُ حُكْمًا عَرَبِيًّا وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءهُم بَعْدَ مَا جَاءكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلاَ وَاقٍ {37}

And thus have We revealed it, a true judgment in Arabic, and if you follow their low desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you shall not have against Allah any guardian or a protector.

 

 So we are all , in fact, being given a choice here between the exact truth revealed by the almighty Allah Himself and the self created “principles” of people who consider religion as an unnecessary burden. We all want success and paradise but these are two opposite attitudes and two opposite ways of life. How can they both go to the same end? Think upon it and chose your way according to the destination you want for yourself.

Surah Ibrahim

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

This Surah starts with focusing our attention on the spiritual power of the Quran. Allah tells us that this book was sent to us so that it might take us out of Darkness into Light. From the Darkness of ignorance, of superstitions, of fear, of uncertainty and of oppression towards the light of knowledge, of awareness and empowerment. I have myself experienced that Quran inspires in you a confidence in the purpose of your existence. From the depression of thinking myself as useless and inadequate, it has brought me into the confidence of knowing that Allah has not created even a single atom without a purpose so how could I be here without a place specially designed for me. All we need to do is to hold the Quran, with love and sincerity and let its true light guide us. Allah then makes you see what special gifts he has given you with which you can serve His people. And when you make a commitment of using your potentials for the betterment of people and stop living a selfish life which serves only yourself , then Allah infuses in you a special kind of confidence and happiness and fulfillment which no other thing in world can ever give you. Just feel the radiance of these opening words:

الَر كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَى صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ {1}

Alif Lam Ra. (This is) a Book which We have revealed to you that you may bring forth men, by their Lord’s permission from utter darkness into light– to the way of the Mighty, the Praised One,

 

and then the warning to those who deny the value of Quran and its message:

 

اللّهِ الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَوَيْلٌ لِّلْكَافِرِينَ مِنْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ {2}

 Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever Is in the earth; and woe to the unbelievers on account of the severe torment,

 

But how can they deny such a wonderful blessing which is for their own good. Allah says it’s because they love their worldly life so much that they are afraid to lose its gains. Therefore you hear people saying things like, “I want to study the Quran but my family will be neglected” or “my job is too important for me” and some simply say that “I am not ready yet”. Not realizing that not only will they have to answer Allah for their own indifference to His message but they will also have to pay for the negative influence they have on other people who look towards them as role models. That is why Allah says:

 

الَّذِينَ يَسْتَحِبُّونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا عَلَى الآخِرَةِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا أُوْلَـئِكَ فِي ضَلاَلٍ بَعِيدٍ {3}

 those who love this world’s life more than the hereafter, and turn away(other people) from Allah’s path and desire to make it crooked; these are the ones in a great error.

 

We need to understand here that Allah created the world and its various blessings for our needs and to fulfill those needs is not a sin. However He also sent us this Book and the Prophet’s teachings for the fulfillment of our spiritual needs. We need the body to sustain our spirit and we need the Quran and Sunnah to connect our spirit with Allah. In order to attain this equilibrium we need to enrich and nurture both the body and the spirit. We can’t ignore one for the sake of the other and if do so like its happening in most cases, then we can never have peace of mind or happiness or the satisfaction of fulfillment because the spirit is starved and almost dead while all our energies are being spent in the nourishment of the body alone. Remember what we just read in surah Ar-raad;

          Verily, in Allah’s remembrance do hearts find peace (13:28 )

As for the worldly blessings, Allah assures us that as long as you are grateful He will give you more:

 

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ {7}

And when your Lord made it known: If you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more, and if you are ungrateful, My chastisement is truly severe.

 

Being grateful doesn’t mean just to say the words Alhmdulillah, rather it means to be fully conscious of the mercy of Allah for granting you all the blessings. After all, what have we done to deserve any of it? So “shukur” or gratitude is expressed not only through words but our entire being shows gratitude by using these blessings in the obedience of Allah.

But it’s a sad reality that most people choose to take the path of defiance, of “Kufr”. And these people might also be doing good deeds, like social welfare etc. But their motive is for the people only. They are not concerned with Islam, which is the code of life approved by Allah, so they can hope for no reward in the hereafter. Why? Because Allah is the master of this world and also of the day of recompense. If we deny the master then from whom are we going to get the reward? Therefore it’s going to be a shock for them when they realize that all their deeds have turned to ashes and they cannot hope to attain any goodness out of them:

 

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِرَبِّهِمْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ لاَّ يَقْدِرُونَ مِمَّا كَسَبُواْ عَلَى شَيْءٍ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الضَّلاَلُ الْبَعِيدُ {18}

 The parable of those who disbelieve in their Lord: their actions are like ashes on which the wind blows hard on a stormy day; they shall not have power over any thing out of what they have earned; this is the great error.

 

We see that there are a lot of people who don’t obey Allah because they are afraid of the displeasure of people who have some influence over them. Their whole life is a submission to their superiors. Allah portrays their situation on the Day of Judgment in this vivid ayat. If you concentrate on the words you can almost see them and hear their voices as they try to avoid punishment:

 

وَبَرَزُواْ لِلّهِ جَمِيعًا فَقَالَ الضُّعَفَاء لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ إِنَّا كُنَّا لَكُمْ تَبَعًا فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّغْنُونَ عَنَّا مِنْ عَذَابِ اللّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ قَالُواْ لَوْ هَدَانَا اللّهُ لَهَدَيْنَاكُمْ سَوَاء عَلَيْنَا أَجَزِعْنَا أَمْ صَبَرْنَا مَا لَنَا مِن مَّحِيصٍ {21}

And they shall all come forth before Allah, then the weak shall say to those who were proud: Surely we were your followers, can you therefore avert from us any part of the chastisement of Allah? They would say: If Allah had guided us, we too would have guided you; it is the same to us whether we are impatient (now) or patient, there is no place for us to fly to.

 

Then there are some who go about blaming the shaitaan for every sin that they commit.  Maybe they are in the illusion that by doing so they can avoid punishment and Allah will maybe just throw the shaitaan into hell-fire and pronounce us all as innocent beings who were merely being led by some greater force. Allah tells us to open our eyes and take responsibility of our lives. Allah has given us the choice to do good or bad, whatever we like. The Shaitaan can just make some evil look attractive in our eyes but to go for it is our own choice. For every negative whisper of the Shaitaan we hear the voice of our conscience but if we don’t listen to it, then it’s our own fault. The following Ayat explains it in clear words:

 

وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلاَّ أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي فَلاَ تَلُومُونِي وَلُومُواْ أَنفُسَكُم مَّا أَنَاْ بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَا أَنتُمْ بِمُصْرِخِيَّ إِنِّي كَفَرْتُ بِمَا أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ {22}

And the Shaitan shall say after the affair is decided: Surely Allah promised you the promise of truth, and I gave you promises, then failed to keep them to you, and I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you obeyed me, therefore do not blame me but blame yourselves: I cannot be your aider (now) nor can you be my aiders; surely I disbelieved in your associating me with Allah before; surely it is the unjust that shall have the painful punishment.

 

Next we find these beautiful Ayaat of the Quran which gives the example of the true Believer:

 

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاء {24}

Have you not considered how Allah sets forth a parable of a good word (being) like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in heaven,

تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا وَيَضْرِبُ اللّهُ الأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ {25}

Yielding its fruit in every season by the permission of its Lord? And Allah sets forth parables for men that they may be mindful.

 

Kalima Tayyiba here is the kalima of “La illaha illa Allah” which is the main faith of a believer. The believer grows through this faith and becomes like a tree. Allah has chosen this example because, to be like a tree means, that he lives for others. He is constantly giving without any payment from those who benefit from it. His roots are actually his faith which is firmly and deeply established in his heart. He cannot be easily uprooted. And the branches are his good deeds both in serving Allah and serving mankind. His fruits are the benefits of character which others derive from him. Evergreen means that in all times he is ready to give without any expectation of return.

We should all strive to come up to this standard but it is good to remember how a tree comes into being. First thing you need is that tiny seed of Imaan (faith in Allah). And to sow that seed, you need to soften the soil first, which is the heart. Then you nourish it with water which is the knowledge of Quran and Allah’s remembrance. Then in the beginning, when it is just a tiny little plant just come to life, you need to protect it from harmful elements, like bad company for instance. Then gradually it grows while your care and nurturing should be a constant process. It requires years to become a full grown tree and to bear fruit………so one needs a lot of patience and perseverance through time and circumstances.

It seems like a difficult task but the fact is that Allah makes us strong:

 

يُثَبِّتُ اللّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الآخِرَةِ وَيُضِلُّ اللّهُ الظَّالِمِينَ وَيَفْعَلُ اللّهُ مَا يَشَاء {27}

Allah will keep firm those who believe with the sure word in this world’s life and in the hereafter, and Allah causes the unjust to go astray, and Allah does what He pleases.

 

And also remember that Allah has given us everything:

 

وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَتَ اللّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الإِنسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ {34}

 And He gives you of all that you ask Him; and if you count Allah’s favors, you will not be able to number them; most surely man is very unjust, very ungrateful.

 

Next Allah reminds us of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) who left the culture of idol worship and brought people towards the worship of one Allah. When he left his wife Hajarah (a.s) and son Ismaail (a.s.) in the barren valley of Makkah, he made the following prayer:

 

رَّبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُم مِّنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ {37}

O our Lord! surely I have settled a part of my offspring in a valley unproductive of fruit near Thy Sacred House, our Lord! that they may keep up prayer; therefore make the hearts of some people yearn towards them and provide them with fruits; so that they may be grateful:

 

It is interesting to note that while the so called religious people of today, are bent upon declaring the comforts of life as haraam, a prophet is praying for “rizq” which means worldly blessings. And he also states the purpose of this request: “so that they might do shukur”. This is the amazing beauty of our religion. We are being taught to pray for Duniya so it might increase us in our Deen, through increased gratitude towards Allah !!

But Ibahim a.s. doesn’t get stuck in Duniya alone ( like we tend to do ) But asks his Lord for the Spiritual sustenance as well:

 

رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلاَةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاء {40}

My Lord! make me keep up prayer and from my offspring (too), O our Lord, and accept my prayer:

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ {41}

O our Lord! grant me protection and my parents and the believers on the day when the reckoning shall come to pass!

 

This is the perfect balance that we require in our approach towards life. As we see it becomes so easy to understand life when we turn to Quran for guidance. But when we don’t open the book we invent a thousand theories trying to justify life, all the while being carried away by our own desires which we conveniently label as our “principles”.

Allah gives us a glimpse of the horrors of Akhirat:

 

وَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ يَوْمَئِذٍ مُّقَرَّنِينَ فِي الأَصْفَادِ {49}

And you will see the guilty on that day linked together in chains.

سَرَابِيلُهُم مِّن قَطِرَانٍ وَتَغْشَى وُجُوهَهُمْ النَّارُ {50}

Their shirts made of pitch and the fire covering their faces

 

We read or hear things like this and our immediate response is why would Allah do this to people when He is so merciful and kind. The answer that Allah has given us clear warnings and if chose to ignore them, then whom should we blame but our own selves. We will all be paid for whatever we earned:

 

لِيَجْزِي اللّهُ كُلَّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ إِنَّ اللّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ {51}

 That Allah may requite each soul (according to) what it has earned; surely Allah is swift in reckoning.

 

The end of this surah is as powerful as its beginning:

 

هَـذَا بَلاَغٌ لِّلنَّاسِ وَلِيُنذَرُواْ بِهِ وَلِيَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّمَا هُوَ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَلِيَذَّكَّرَ أُوْلُواْ الأَلْبَابِ {52}

This is a sufficient message for the mankind and that they may be warned thereby, and that they may know that He is One Allah and that those possessed of understanding may take heed.

So where are you … all those people of intellect and understanding? Is the message not clear?

So will you not understand?

Will you not obey?

Surah Al-Hijr

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

 

From the day I have entered the world of Quran, and have seen and experienced so much of its beauty and grandeur, my main confusion, which leaves a sad feeling in my heart, is the contrast between the Quran and its believers. I will not use the word “followers” because had they truly absorbed the Quran and followed it, they would have been entirely different from what they are right now. What’s so sad about it is that the image of Islam has been thoroughly distorted by us “born-Muslims”. On one hand there are those who are shining examples of worldly prestige and success but have completely pushed aside the identity and obligations of their religion.  And there are those who are religious, but are otherwise lethargic and incompetent. What kind of message, does this state of things, convey to our next generation? Or to the world at large? That you should stay away from this “fundamentalist” group, otherwise you will also become “losers” like them.

  It makes me want to yell at the top of my voice and tell the whole world that Islam is not like it is being portrayed by the majority of its believers. Come and see the Quran, how beautiful it is!! Come and study what our role models were like……….See how glorious is the true picture of Islam ……….

What we really need to do, is to make the study of Quran and Sunnah, the top priority of our life and through its guidance we should focus on our characters and personalities so as to become the shining examples of Islam,

Which is the One and Only, true and acceptable religion in the eyes of Allah………….

All these thoughts were triggered by the opening words of the Surah Al-Hijr in which Allah tells us something totally unexpected and astonishing:

 

رُّبَمَا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ كَانُواْ مُسْلِمِينَ {2}

Often will those who disbelieve wish that they had been Muslims.

 

When and how will this be? Doesn’t seem likely in this day and age when Muslims all over the world are so weak and down-trodden. A hadees of the Prophet s.a.w. explains that it will be on the day of resurrection when the disbelievers will see the reward given to the true Muslims.

 So Allah says, don’t worry if the Kafirs make fun of you now, and call you “fundo” or extremists. There will come a day when they will wish that they were Muslims. So ignore them;

 

ذَرْهُمْ يَأْكُلُواْ وَيَتَمَتَّعُواْ وَيُلْهِهِمُ الأَمَلُ فَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ {3}

Leave them that they may eat and enjoy themselves and (that) hope may beguile them, for they will soon know.

 

Sometimes I wonder that no matter what the world is doing against Islam and the Muslims they have not been able to tamper with the main SOURCE of our strength, the glorious QURAN. Its truth has prevailed through the centuries and not a word has been removed or added. This is also a miracle of Allah that Quran is still in its pure, original form. This is the only Book which is preserved not only in writing but in the hearts of millions of Muslims who have memorized it word to word. Allah says:

 

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ {9}

Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian.

 

But in spite of all these manifestations of its authenticity, those who don’t want to believe and submit to its teachings will find one excuse or the other in their efforts to undermine its value. Allah exposes their attitude in the following words:

 

وَلَوْ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَابًا مِّنَ السَّمَاء فَظَلُّواْ فِيهِ يَعْرُجُونَ {14}

And even if We open to them a gateway of heaven, so that they ascend into it all the while,

لَقَالُواْ إِنَّمَا سُكِّرَتْ أَبْصَارُنَا بَلْ نَحْنُ قَوْمٌ مَّسْحُورُونَ {15}

They would certainly say: Only our eyes have been covered over, rather we are an enchanted people.

 

In this world we see different people being given a different status and we wonder what has that person done to deserve all that he has got and why doesn’t Allah give me the same luxuries. We all have been given numerous blessings but we have a tendency to focus on what we have been deprived of. Then we lament and blame Allah for our misfortunes. We need to understand that Allah’s treasuries are vast and unlimited but only he himself knows how much to bestow on anyone and at what time. He has a measure for everything; nothing is done without a purpose. If we understand the following Ayat it can give us peace of mind and tranquility and will make us grateful instead of the constant whining and complaining that is becoming a common trend in today’s world of greed for more and more things. 

Allah says:

 

وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ عِندَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ إِلاَّ بِقَدَرٍ مَّعْلُومٍ {21}

 And there is not a thing but with Us are the treasures of it, and We do not send it down but in a known measure.

 

Next Allah reminds us of our origin so that we can contemplate on our true purpose of existence. When the angels were told to prostrate before Adam (a.s.) they all obeyed except Shaitaan, and so Allah ordered him to get out of the paradise:

 

قَالَ فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَإِنَّكَ رَجِيمٌ {34}

He said: Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away:

وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ اللَّعْنَةَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ {35}

And surely on you is curse until the day of judgment.

 

Doesn’t it open our eyes to the fact that if Allah was so angry with him for his refusal to bow in front of a man, then what will happen to those who refuse to do Sajdah to the Creator himself?  There is simply no limit to our illusions but the facts are here for everyone to see.

Look at the satanic response:

 

قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لأُزَيِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ {39}

He said: My Lord! because Thou hast made life evil to me, I will certainly make (evil) fair-seeming to them on earth, and I will certainly cause them all to deviate

إِلاَّ عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ {40}

Except Thy servants from among them, the devoted ones.

 

So even he knew his limitations, that he would not be able to distract the true believers from the straight path !!

Allah said:

 

إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ إِلاَّ مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ {42}

Surely. as regards My servants, you have no authority ,over them except those who follow you of the deviators.

وَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ لَمَوْعِدُهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ {43}

 And surely Hell is the promised place of them all:

 

But as for those who remain true to their Lord, is a different picture:

 

إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ {45}

Surely those who guard (against evil) shall be in the midst of gardens and fountains:

ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلاَمٍ آمِنِينَ {46}

                                                               Enter them in peace, secure.

 

Look at the perfection of Allah’s paradise. The successful people who enter it will enjoy, not only the external peace of beautiful surroundings, but also the bliss of internal peace, which is possible only when hearts are free from all resentment and bitterness. Also there will be no hardships. The people there will be eternally healthy and eternally young. On top of all that, they will have no insecurity of the end of good times………because it’s going to be forever and ever !!

 

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَى سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِينَ {47}

And We will root out whatever of rancor is in their breasts– (they shall be) as brethren, on raised couches, face to face.

لاَ يَمَسُّهُمْ فِيهَا نَصَبٌ وَمَا هُم مِّنْهَا بِمُخْرَجِينَ {48}

Toil shall not afflict them in it, nor shall they be ever ejected from it.

 

And then these clear words of our Lord make us aware of His justice. He says:

 

نَبِّئْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ {49}

 Inform My servants that I am the Forgiving, the Merciful,

وَ أَنَّ عَذَابِي هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الأَلِيمَ {50}

And that My punishment– that is the painful punishment.

 

Now it makes us think How do we attain the mercy of Allah and enter Jannah? The answer, in one word is, obedience. But we can be obedient only through a daily connection with Allah. To create that spiritual bonding, Allah has given us two things:

Namaz and Quran:

 

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَاكَ سَبْعًا مِّنَ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنَ الْعَظِيمَ {87}

And certainly We have given you seven of the oft-repeated (verses) and the grand Quran.

 

The seven repeated Ayaat, mentioned here, are actually the Surah Fatihah which is read repeatedly by the millions of Muslims across the globe in their daily prayers. This surah was given to the Prophet from a special treasure in the heavens. So every time we read it we should be acutely conscious of its depth of meaning and greatness.

At the end Allah is addressing the Prophet (s.a.w.) and through him to all of us, that don’t worry about the disbelievers and their negative propaganda, just be firm in your faith and leave them to Allah. He will take care of them !

 

فَاصْدَعْ بِمَا تُؤْمَرُ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ {94}

Therefore declare openly what you are bidden and turn aside from the polytheists.

إِنَّا كَفَيْنَاكَ الْمُسْتَهْزِئِينَ {95}

Surely We will suffice you against the scoffers

 

And increase your strength of Imaan by following these Ayaat:

 

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ {98}

Therefore celebrate the praise of your Lord, and be of those who make obeisance.

وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ {99}

 And serve your Lord until there comes to you that which is certain

 

What a beautiful Surah, ending with such a heart warming assurance from Allah that if we stick to our duties and focus on our relationship with Him then he will remove all fear and uncertainty from our hearts. How can you be ever alone if you have the Lord of the Universe as your friend and guide? But like all relationships, this one also requires a constant nurturing through love and devotion. May Allah help us all to achieve this level of faith,  Ameen.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by s.h.makhdumi on August 13, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Alhumdulillah! you’re doing a pretty good job. =)
    my tafsir gets revised this way.

    Reply

    • Posted by Saira Syed on April 14, 2011 at 6:53 am

      SubhaanAllah! Alhumdulillaah! Allah o Akbar!
      Beautiful tafsir of the beautiful Words of Almighty! JazzakAllahukhairan sister. I will be reading it punctually and sharing it with my other sisters.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Muneeza Aamir Sami on October 3, 2011 at 4:59 am

    I would like to commend you on all the efforts that you have done to make the tafseer so simple and easy to understand! God bless you!

    Reply

    • Posted by theseekerspath on October 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      All praise and gratitude is for Allah because He is the Lord of all worlds. Whatever I have done is with His help and “Taufeeq”. I am just so glad if anyone finds it beneficial. May Allah join us all to the truth of His message so that we can be really successful in this world as well as in the Hereafter. Ameen
      p.s. For the ultimate pleasure of discovering the true spirit of Quran I would suggest that you listen to the tafseer on the following website:
      http://www.farhathashmi.com

      Reply

  3. Posted by Bushra on August 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Assalamualaikum Sister,

    I read your surah reviews, MashaAllah I found them really inspirational.This Ramadan I shared them with my family members.
    JazakAllahKhair.
    May Allah bless you in your knowledge and in all your efforts to spread the Deen.
    May He keep us all on the Siratal Mustaqeem. Ameen.

    Reply

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